Monday, 21 March 2016

Kigali forum discusses keys to unlocking Africa's economic potential

Kigali forum discusses keys to unlocking Africa's economic potentialATF 2016 closes by launching innovative Coalition for African Transformation

(Matthew Rees, Richard Sezibera, Richard Newfarmer and Eveline Herfkens (from left to right) at the ATF 2016 breakout session on "Facilitating Trade and Regional Integration")  
ACCRA, Ghana, 18 March 2016, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The African Transformation Forum (ATF), held from 14-15th March in Kigali, Rwanda, concluded with the official launch of The Coalition for Transformation in Africa - a network of experts working across sectors and borders to drive policy and institutional reforms. 

The ATF was organised by the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and the Government of Rwanda. 

Explaining the concept behind the Coalition for Transformation in Africa, K.Y. Amoako, president of ACET said it would comprise like-minded public and private sector individuals organised in chapters, each focussed on specific issues raised during the Forum. Chapters would continue to meet and work beyond the Forum and would report back at subsequent forums. 

Earlier, the ATF welcomed HE Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, who gave a detailed speech about how his small nation has led the way in forging a developmental state based around a strong economy and widespread participation from citizens. 

The Forum also held interactive discussions on the continent's vital sectors and ambitions - among them agriculture, trade and financial inclusion. 

Dede Amanor Wilks, a development specialist currently consulting with the UN's Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), was applauded for a strong speech arguing that women hold the key to a green revolution in Africa.


(Amolo Ng'weno, East Africa Regional Director of Bankable Frontier Associates speaking at the ATF 2016 breakout session on "Promoting Financial Inclusion")

Wilks argued that "economic transformation begins with agricultural transformation" for Africa's women. Far more must be done by governments to better the lot of their female citizens if they want to encourage the broad- based transformation of rural communities, she urged. 

"The greatest obstacle to the role women can play in transforming African agriculture lies in political will," she said. 

One solution put forward by the panel was the creation of female agricultural co-operatives. These would allow women to solve problems, encourage change and realize their economic independence in the largely male-dominated societies in Africa. Read more....


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