African Transformation Logo 2016

Summary Report

The Forum concluded with the official launch of the Coalition for Transformation in Africa, a broad network of experts who will join forces and work across sectors to drive policy and institutional reforms in support of transformation strategies.

The African Transformation Forum 2016 summary report is available to download below.

Highlights from the Inaugural ATF 2016 (Kigali, Rwanda)

Launching the Pan-African Coalition for Transformation (PACT)

The African Transformation Forum 2016

Matthew Rees, Richard Sezibera and Richard Newfarmer and Eveline Herfkens (from left to right) at the ATF 2016 breakout session on "Facilitating Trade and Regional Integration"

Matthew Rees, Richard Sezibera and Richard Newfarmer and Eveline Herfkens (from left to right) at the ATF 2016 breakout session on “Facilitating Trade and Regional Integration”

From March 14 to15, 2016, the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, convened the first African Transformation Forum (ATF) in Kigali, Rwanda.

The first objective of the ATF was to facilitate knowledge sharing and peer learning across global and African luminaries from the public and private sectors. These participants contributed their rich insights, and uncovered challenges and solutions for galvanizing economic transformation in Africa. The discussions fell into two categories: i) the coordinated development and implementation of national development plans; and ii) catalyzing transformation within critical sectors, notably: extractives; light manufacturing; agriculture; skills development; entrepreneurship; financial inclusion; infrastructure; and regional integration.

The second objective of the ATF was to launch the Coalition for Transformation in Africa – a new leadership network organized in chapters, each addressing a specific thematic area. These chapters – and the policy makers, business leaders and development partners who will constitute their membership – will examine and develop implementable solutions for development. ACET will serve as the Secretariat for the Coalition, building consensus, coordinating activities and assisting the membership in securing funding to support their agreed initiatives. The chapters will also report their progress at subsequent African Transformation Forums.

The chapters will be chaired by a Transformation Ambassador, a businessperson or public figure who is renowned in the theme of each chapter.

For more information
Buddy Buruku, Director, African Transformation Forum


The ATF and the Coalition for Transformation are designed to … address some of the fundamental road blocks to African countries realizing their development goals.


The Mastercard Foundation

Message from Reeta Roy

Ford Foundation

Message from Darren Walker


Since the late 2000s, ACET has been calling for a paradigm shift on Africa’s development: a call for African economies to go beyond growth to transform!

The Pan-African Coalition for Transformation

African countries need a regular mechanism for sharing ideas and best practices, developing synergies in knowledge and skills, jointly mobilizing resources for research and implementation and creating transnational narratives to generate support and enthusiasm for proven policy interventions. Private sector firms and civil society organizations also want to build meaningful working relationships with public officials at the national and intergovernmental levels that focus on the design and promulgation of a positive economic agenda.

To meet these aims, ACET’s Pan-African Coalition for Transformation (PACT) will be the first post-2015 platform to offer participants:

  • Regular access to a dynamic network of influencers who are committed to Africa’s transformation.
  • The opportunity to establish multi-sector partnerships based on targeted development issues.
  • A policy development mechanism that is collaborative and action-oriented.
  • A vehicle to pool funding for research and analysis that leads to practical, actionable recommendations for driving transformation.

The PACT will include governments, businesses, and civil society organizations dedicated to Africa’s economic transformation. Building on the panels and breakout sessions at the inaugural African Transformation Forum in March 2016 in Kigali, the PACT will identify, refine, and propagate promising ideas and best practices for African societies undertaking economic transformation.

The PACT will comprise a small number of Chapters, each focused on a separate area of economic transformation and comprised of core members with relevant expertise, interest, and knowledge. Chapters will function as small, nimble networks of like-minded countries, organizations, and sponsors to coordinate joint action – sometimes in person, sometimes remotely – to share valuable knowledge, and promote successful transformation strategies for all of Africa.

The Case for Joining the PACT

For government agencies:

Participation in the 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.

For industry and civil society

Participation in the 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.

For development partners and foundations

The 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.


We need expertise, knowledge and the ability to convert that information into practical, transformative action. But transformation requires a collaborative effort.

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