African policy makers, leading practitioners and development thinkers have met in Berlin with development partners to formulate common positions on African economic transformation to present to Group of 20 (G20) leaders.
Dubbed “Africa’s Economic Transformation within the Context of the G-20 Partnership with Africa“, the context for the one-day meeting, organised jointly by the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is the G20 Compact with Africa. The Compact is a G20 initiative to promote private investment and investment in infrastructure.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised to make the “issues that concern Africa” one of the top priorities of the July 2017 Group of 20 Summit, which Germany will host in Hamburg.
In his keynote address, ACET’s Founder and President, K.Y. Amoako, briefed the meeting about the Pan-African Coalition for Transformation (PACT), which was launched in Kigali a year ago. ACET is the secretariat to PACT, which is a vehicle for coordinated transformative policy action across Africa, based on well-evidenced, multi-country research.
“Europe’s Compact with Africa will need strong partnerships with African institutions,” Dr. Amoako told the meeting.
German Parliamentary State Secretary, Thomas Silberhorn, in his keynote address signaled that the G20 Africa Initiative envisages more development financing from domestic resources. Silberhorn is Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“Africa is a dynamic continent,” Mr. Silberhorn said, adding that the new “Marshall Plan” for Africa was not the same as previously.
The original Marshall Plan, estimated at US$ 13 billion, was bankrolled by the US to support the reconstruction of European countries devastated by World War II.
The Berlin meeting included rich panel and roundtable discussions on the need for a paradigm shift in international cooperation and a case study of Ethiopia presented by Arkebe Oqubay Metiku, Minister and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
In six breakout sessions on youth and skills, extractives and local content, light manufacturing, agricultural modernisation, trade facilitation and regional integration, and finance, expert presentations and informed discussions focused on formulating recommendations ahead of the G20 July meeting.
These topics comprise six of PACT’s eight chapter themes, KY Amoako noted. “Partnerships are very important and we want to be part of the international dialogue,” Amoako said.
Closing the meeting, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Africa Director, Andrea Ostheimer reiterated the need for a radical paradigm shift in aid. “ACET will be part of the final G20 process meeting in Berlin,” Ostheimer assured delegates.
Based in Accra, ACET is an economic policy institute supporting Africa’s long-term growth through economic transformation. The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, which hosted the conference at its Berlin Akademie, is a German political party foundation associated with but independent of the Christian Democratic Union.