The Africa Centre for Economic Transformation, ACET, has announced it will soon establish two more chapters as a reflection of the importance of the issues in driving transformation across the African continent. It will bring the functioning Pan-Africa Coalition for Transformation, PACT, chapters to five, including extractives, resource mobilization and management and light manufacturing.
According to Dr. Kingsley Y. Amoako, Founder and President of ACET, PACT was conceived and established at the first Transformation Forum, TF, in Kigali, Rwanda, from the concept that African countries could accomplish more by working together than by working apart. He said the PACT agriculture chapter, will use the 2017 African Transformation Report, produced by ACET, which focused exclusively on agriculture and how to leverage it to transform the society as the starting point.
He explained that the analytical work on the chapter had been done and the African Transformation Forum, ATF2018, was for countries to share experiences and agree on how each country could move forward.
He said while investments in agriculture remained low in Ghana and other countries, agriculture remained the most dominant sector in many African countries, contributing the most to GDP, as well as in terms of employment.
“It is still an important sector, and there are still a lot of challenges, and modernizing agriculture is particularly important,” he said.
He explained that averagely, Africa had an ageing workforce in agriculture age with most farmers about 60 years, thus the challenge was to ensure that agriculture became attractive for young people.
To do this, there was the need for input supply, mechanization, as well as expansion in sizes of farmland to allow the young people to make a decent living in agriculture.
On the Skills Development and Youth Training chapter, Dr Amoako said the employment challenge facing Africa was huge, with most youth unemployed, while the youth population continued to bulge, with Africa predicted to have the largest youth population in the world by 2050.
“At the same time, the nature of work is also changing; there’s robotics, there’s mechanization, there’s artificial intelligence…so the education system is important.
“We need to ensure that more students get science, technical, engineering and mathematics education. We need to ensure they have the right skills for what employers want,” he stated.
He also stressed the need for technical, vocational education and training to be an integral part of Africa’s education system.
He noted that ACET and the government of Ghana had held a forum a few months ago to bring stakeholders together to identify clear and deliverable policy recommendations and intended to have similar events in other countries.
He said the next phase of the chapter would be underpinned by research and analysis on education, skills and the future of work in Africa conducted by ACET on behalf of the Mastercard Foundation and other institutions.
“ACET realizes that its work cannot be done alone, nor should it,” and commended ACET’s partner institutions and partners for their collaboration in pushing progress with the PACT.
The two-day ATF2018, on the theme “Dialogue for Action”, co-hosted by ACET and Ghana provides an opportunity for the private sector, policymakers and development planners to engage each other on how best to advance the economic transformation of Africa, particularly in those areas highlighted by the Pan-Africa Coalition for Transformation (PACT).
The PACT is a peer-peer learning platform organized in chapters around key issues that drive economic transformation which was formed at the first African Transformation Forum held in Kigali Rwanda. PACT chapters to be covered at the ATF2018 are: Resource Mobilization and Management, Agriculture, Skills Development and Youth Training, Extractives and Light Manufacturing.
By Adu Koranteng