“As outlined in ACET’s most recent African Transformation Report, digital technologies provide the opportunity for ACET to leapfrog in its economic transformation, but appropriate policies must be in place to incentivize investment and to protect data and privacy.” Said ACET President and Founder, K.Y. Amoako.
“This new program will be the first for a pan-African policy institute and will build upon some earlier innovation and digital projects. We are excited at the prospects of helping African entrepreneurs, innovators and policymakers create policy, platforms and ecosystems to support Africa’s digital transformation.”
Rob is no stranger to ACET where he served as a Director and Senior Advisor from 2017-2021. In addition to leading ACET’s work on infrastructure and strategic partnerships, he also piloted ACET’s first innovation, digital and technology projects, such as Africa’s first artificial intelligence (AI) challenge for regional infrastructure, multi-country research on industrial innovation policy, supporting the EU/AU digital dialogue, and exploring innovation in the time of COVID-19. In 2021 Rob returned to the World Bank where he earlier had a long career working in the Africa and South Asia Regions, the Office of the President, and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
From 2010-2015 he was a manager and director in the World Bank Institute where he oversaw the Bank’s first Innovation Labs. The Labs launched innovation challenges to identify local solutions to local problems, supported an open-aid partnership, geo-enabled World Bank projects, leveraged big-data for development analytics, and promoted social enterprise innovation. Before joining the World Bank in 1995 he handled trade issues for an international law firm, supported USAID projects in Latin America and Africa, worked as a journalist in Switzerland, Thailand and Australia, and served as an advisor to the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture.
“The digital agenda is the next frontier for Africa.” Said Rob. “And I am excited at ACET’s potential to ensure research-to-policy uptake, address the policy implications for exciting issues such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, and equip policymakers with the tools to make informed decisions that best represent the interests of citizens in Africa.
He will re-join ACET officially on April 1.