That’s why countries need a regular platform to harness initiatives, knowledge, policies, and reforms and turn individual success into collective progress. Africa has many development initiatives in place, but so far it’s lacked a single mechanism to connect all of the stakeholders required to drive economic transformation. PACT will create these connections at all levels through the single lens of economic transformation.
Members will include countries that have previously worked with ACET on transformation programs, as well as countries that are committed to future policy reforms and eager to engage with peers and stakeholders. Countries known for their advanced drive in Chapter areas — as well as their potential to bring about catalytic action — will champion the work of each Chapter and help coordinate policy efforts.
Chapters will meet at least once a year, guided by a set of broad objectives with specific work programs and targets for each member country.
Agriculture is the bedrock of Africa’s economic transformation. The continent has nearly 60% of the world’s arable, uncultivated land and well over half of those employed in Africa work in agriculture. But across the continent, farmer productivity is low, value chains are weak and fragmented, and dependence on food imports is on the rise. Modernizing Africa's agriculture will not only improve food security, but offer countries their most immediate pathway to overall economic transformation. What will a modern agriculture sector look like? And what are the most immediate challenges to address – and opportunities to seize?
Resource-rich economies in the past two decades have sought to actively promote local content and value addition strategies as the means to leverage the contribution of valuable natural resources to economic growth and development. But at the core of this strategy is the requirement for investors to expand employment opportunities, invest in local supply chains, open equity to local partners, use local financial institutions, and generally stimulate the broad-based growth of non-resource sectors. Local content and value addition could provide a winning formula for accelerated economic transformation, but are African countries getting it right?
The landscape for international development financing is changing rapidly. Traditional ODA is decreasing as new players such as China, India, and Brazil are rising. In addition, philanthropies, foundations, and private organizations are emerging in their own right as vehicles for development assistance. Increasingly, African countries are looking to these new actors as well as to new instruments and new modalities, all the while recognizing the importance of mobilizing their own domestic resources. However, some of the new opportunities for financing may bypass government systems and bring complex risks in meeting development priorities. How can countries best manage this shifting financial landscape?
Many African regions have begun to formulate successful approaches to improving trade. One-stop border posts between Zambia and Zimbabwe and at a crossing between Kenya and Uganda have reduced time and costs involved in moving goods across borders. But outside a few such examples, it remains a challenge to translate the good intentions expressed in Africa’s regional trade agreements into concrete actions. Trade facilitation can stimulate economic transformation by raising exports, supporting diversification, increasing productivity, and enabling participation in value chains. So how do we harmonize facilitation instruments and remove bottlenecks to increase trade flows in Africa?
Small and medium-sized enterprises account for 95% of businesses in Africa and supply the majority of new jobs in the non-agricultural sectors. Meanwhile, in the agriculture sector, smallholders make up more than 80% of farmers. But accessing credit remains a major constraint to growth for SME entrepreneurs, while African banks generally are hesitant to approve agricultural loans. SMEs and smallholders alike face systemic credit market biases that inhibit access to affordable finance. What can be done to reduce or eliminate these biases – and in turn accelerate economic transformation?
Industrialization, particularly the expansion and increased sophistication of manufacturing production and exports – as well as its related job creation – remains an essential part of Africa’s economic transformation. Unfortunately, manufacturing as a share of GDP has declined over the past few decades in most African countries, although in absolute terms it is growing. With new developments that favor Africa’s ability to breaking into world manufacturing markets – such as rising wages abroad and improving economic policy environments at home – how do countries raise their focus and commitment to manufacturing, and develop a coherent strategy to promote it?
The working age population in Africa continues to increase at a rate faster than any region in the world. The implications of this trend for the labor market are enormous – promising, if skills match the available jobs; alarming if not. It’s true that the level of education of young people in Africa is low. But in many instances even the highly educated lack the skills required by employers or the skills that will ensure productive jobs. How can we improve the quality of Africa’s basic education, and also address the skills mismatch that threatens to undermine Africa’s looming labor boom?
More than half of Africa’s population lacks access to basic electricity and clean cooking facilities, and the numbers are rising with population growth and urbanization. For most of sub-Saharan Africa, electricity generation is limited and often relies on a single source, which in most cases is non-renewable. Tackling Africa’s energy problems is a central part of economic transformation, but creating an effective, accessible and sustainable energy environment in Africa requires significant investments. That’s why public-private partnerships are essential in closing Africa’s power gap, but to what extent? What ought to be the role of government in shaping the future of Africa’s power sector?
But how do the member countries interact to further their goals? By following a unique system that’s been proven to work – the ACET Policy Engagement Model (APEM):
Conduct multi-country case studies in a key policy area, such as identifying the causes of low agricultural productivity
Engage local experts or think tanks to ensure unique country circumstances are incorporated into research, analysis, and solutions
Validate work by bringing together policymakers, the private sector, and other stakeholders to discuss – and refine – findings and recommendations
Identify overarching issues pertinent to all participants in the multi-country study to encourage individual countries to collaborate on mutually beneficial solutions
By applying this model to PACT, Chapters will have a framework in place, and structure operations around a proven process for gathering research, sharing ideas, and supporting policy implementation. Specifically, they will:
Identify common problems and challenges being faced in a particular issue area by all members of a Chapter
Identify examples of best practice in one or more countries to be shared with other country members of the same Chapter
Targeted launch: Early 2017
Targeted launch: Early 2018
Begin peer learning and sharing of best practices
Agree on overall objectives and goals
Draw up country-specific action plans and targets
Convene private sector partner representatives and other stakeholders
Align development partner goals as they relate to a Chapter’s focus across countries
Phase I Chapters will present progress reports at the June 2017 African Transformation Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.
Phase II Chapters will begin similar preparations for launch in the second half of 2017.
Working closely with Africa’s leading development institutions is a core tenet of PACT operations. Both the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have placed economic transformation at the center of their long-term strategies. As such, they will be necessary, vital, and valuable partners for the Coalition.
The AfDB crafted a set of critical priority programs, the “High 5s”, that naturally align with PACT chapters: light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. Likewise, the ECA, which was a key partner at the African Transformation Forum, boasts deep research and analysis in a number of areas, such as regional integration and extractives, that will help guide Coalition Chapters.
Participation in PACT will provide access to highly qualified experts on policy themes; opportunities for peer-to-peer learning from countries with relevant experience; channels for engagement with industry and civil society; and access to exclusive funding opportunities that can support the implementation of the transformation agenda.
Participation in PACT will provide opportunities to build meaningful relationships with public officials at the national and intergovernmental levels; collaborate with other public and private institutions with similar interests and objectives and learn effective ways to leverage corporate social responsibility efforts, development projects and advocacy campaigns towards economic transformation.
PACT will provide opportunities to direct resources towards high-impact interventions through a transparent, African-led process based on local needs. Donors will have the opportunity to maximize their impact through harmonization with other donors. They will have access to new and actionable ideas as they emerge, providing unique opportunities to support Africa’s transformation.
ACET currently works with a network of African think tanks and researchers across the continent―from Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. In addition, we work with other experts from around the globe. Some of the institutions with which we’ve collaborated included the World Bank, JICA, NORAD, USAID, DfID, the governments of Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Norway, Sierra Leone and the Netherlands, along with the Hewlett, Ford, Rockefeller, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations. ACET has already helped shift Africa’s development paradigm from growth to transformation.
As African countries now look to the post-2015 development agenda and beyond, the Pan-African Coalition for Transformation is poised to be a leading catalyst at the forefront of lasting change on the continent.
Participation in PACT will provide access to highly qualified experts on policy themes; opportunities for peer-to-peer learning from countries with relevant experience; channels for engagement with industry and civil society; and access to exclusive funding opportunities that can support the implementation ofthe transformation agenda.