Publication Source: thisdaylive.com
The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) has launched its third African Transformation Report (ATR), exploring the critical need for African countries to pursue greater economic integration to transform the continent.
The report stressed the need for Africa to harness regional opportunities through heightened integration, increased collaboration, and visionary leadership.
The report was unveiled recently during the 2021 virtual African Transformation Forum, featuring leaders from both the public and private sector, such as Mastercard Foundation and World Bank Group.
The report urged African countries to work together beyond trade to accelerate transformation and improve lives by creating more jobs, enhancing digital innovation, and managing the impacts of climate change.
ACET Founder and President Dr. Kingsley Amoako, said: “The report highlights the critical need for African countries to confront key issues to allow economies to scale. Increased collaboration across Africa, especially through the delivery of regional public goods, will be critical to tackling shared challenges to successful economic transformation. Integrating to transform demands visionary leadership at all levels that goes beyond national interests to pursue collective actions for the common good.”
The latest edition of the ATR is well-timed against the backdrop of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) coming into practice earlier this year, giving fresh impetus to the continent’s integration project and affirming the commitment by African countries to accelerate intra-African trade and boost Africa’s competitiveness in global markets, Amoako further said.
Former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, also said: “Making a success of the new African Continental Free Trade Area is one way to reinforce badly needed integration in Africa. This larger market will attract greater investments, boost productivity, provide better jobs, and improve human well-being, all of which support the continent’s economic transformation. Now is the time to reinforce the push for African integration, not just through trade, but also through greater collaboration to provide regional public goods. Only then will Africa see its economies transform and develop the leadership and institutions to build the Africa we want.”
According to the report, deepening regional integration would require shifting the integration narrative from pursuing not just regional market integration but also increasing broader regional collaboration.
Citing previous reports, the recent ATR Report underlines the urgent need for countries to look beyond trade and markets to collaborate in delivering regional public goods such as transport corridors, free movement of people, well-managed river basins, cross-border digital connectivity, and systems to control future outbreaks of pests and disease.
ACET is a pan-African economic policy institute that supports governments and businesses to transform economies and deliver sustainable growth that improves livelihoods. ACET follows a unique approach that combines analysis, advice, and advocacy in critical program areas, encompassing economic management and governance, youth employment and skills, regional integration and gender equality, to foster collaboration among policy makers and the private sector as they look to accelerate Africa’s sustainable growth.