Africa: Adding Depth to Africa's Growth

press release

Johannesburg — Members of the private sector, donor institutions, state departments from across Africa, the diplomatic corps and media gathered at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel today to discuss how African economies can continue growing, but also transform.

The 2014 African Transformation Report draws on ACET's research program of country, sector, and thematic studies to look systematically at transformation as a broad framework for economic growth and development.

It also introduces the African Transformation Index to help African policymakers see how their countries are transforming and where they stand in relation to their neighbours.

The premise of the report is that African economies need more than growth if they are to transform; they need growth with DEPTH. That is, they need to Diversify their production, make their Exports competitive, increase the Productivity of their farms, firms, and government offices, and upgrade their Technology to improve Human well-being.

Founded in 2008 by former Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, K.Y. Amoako, ACET is an economic policy institute supporting long-term growth with transformation of Africa's economies. “Getting the state and the private sector to work together, promoting exports, and developing skills for economic transformation are at the center of our mission,” says Amoako.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Republic of Liberia said, “I commend the African Center for Economic Transformation for preparing this welcome report. It looks at transformation as a broad framework for growth and identifies best practices from Africa and beyond. It will be of great value to African policy makers as they draw up action plans to transform their economies.”

The launch of the report is timely, recognising the imperative for a great transformative shift in Africa. Heads of state and government recently endorsed the African Union's transformation vision for 2063, which aims to address the structural transformation of Africa's output and trade, strengthen Africa's infrastructure and human resources and modernize Africa's science and technology sector.

“Modern economic development is by nature a process of continual structural transformation in technologies, industries, infrastructure, and socio-economic institutions” says Justin Lin, Honorary dean of the National School of Development at Peking University and Former chief economist at the World Bank.

Lin elaborates that the report offers much practical advice, drawing from the experiences of countries that have successfully transformed, and calling on governments in Africa to use their resources and implementation capacities strategically to play an enabling role.

“The African Transformation Report, for us, is an important instrument for assessing Africa's transformation, especially at an economic level,” says Joel Netshitenzhe, Executive Director at MISTRA, “but more critically, assessing it from the point of view of Africans themselves.”

The report also serves as a foundation for ACET in the implementation and advisory support that the think-and-do tank provides to African governments. The report and the country rankings can be found at www.africantransformation.org

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