The African Transformation Forum (ATF) that seeks to build a coalition for transformation in Africa — addressing key economic development themes — is ongoing in Rwanda’s capital of Kigali.
The two-day forum is jointly organised by the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), one of Africa’s leading think-tanks, and the government of Rwanda.
K.Y. Amoako, president of ACET, said for years his organisation had wanted to convene leading thinkers, policymakers, the private sector and civil society to shape solutions that deliver economic transformation in Africa.
“With the inaugural ATF, this has now happened,” he said, and thanked the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, for “his unwavering support for the Forum and his government’s characteristic efficiency in bringing it to fruition”.
Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Claver Gatete, notes in his message to visiting delegates that though Rwanda may be a small country geographically, its aspirations — for both itself and the continent — are great. The path to meeting these aspirations, he adds, require an unwavering focus on economic transformation.
The focus of the Forum will be on key areas that can unlock rapid and sustained growth, establish the continent as part of the global supply chain, and make Africa globally competitive — not only in terms of exports but also as a frontier manufacturing base.
In its 2014 African Transformation Report, ACET described this as ‘Growth with Depth’: that is, diversification of production; export competitiveness; productivity increases, technology upgrades; and human well-being. This forum is designed to advance the agenda from the ‘what’ of economic transformation to the ‘how’.
One of the key objectives of the Forum, said Anver Versi-ACET communications chief, will be to create and introduce a Coalition for Transformation in Africa.