Africa’s Economic Transformation within the Context of the G-20 Partnership with Africa

Venue: Akademie der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Tiergartenstrasse 35, Berlin Germany 

Since the mid-1990s, many African countries have recorded steady economic growth but economic vulnerability remains a concern. Most continue to rely excessively on low-productivity agriculture, have failed to develop strong manufacturing industries, and rely excessively on extractives and a narrow range of commodity exports. By transforming the structure of their economies, African countries will become more prosperous, more diverse, less dependent on foreign assistance and more resilient to shocks.

Economic transformation has become the consensus paradigm for Africa’s sustainable development. It sits at the centre of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and is an integral element of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, as well as the long-term strategies endorsed in recent years by the African Development Bank and the Economic Commission for Africa.

Led by the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and co-hosted by the Konrad-Adenauer- Stiftung, “Africa’s Economic Transformation in the Context of the G20 Partnership with Africa” brings together relevant stakeholders to exchange views, share approaches, and frame discussion around Africa’s transformation needs within the context of the G20 Partnership with Africa.

In March 2016, ACET convened the inaugural African Transformation Forum (ATF)—the continent’s only standing event devoted solely to transformation strategies and implementation—and launched the Pan-African Coalition for Transformation (PACT). PACT is a mechanism for national policymakers, development partners, and the private sector to increase collaboration and accelerate economic transformation.

African governments and institutions are not the only ones focusing on economic transformation. Their development partners are doing the same.  For example, “Jobs and Economic Transformation” is the theme of the record $75 billion policy commitment of the IDA18 Replenishment approved in early 2017. Equally significant, 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.

To that end, the G20 is undertaking a new, large-scale initiative with Africa including the Compact with Africa for increased private sector investment and trade, improved infrastructure for energy and transport, and strong vocational training to support labour markets and generate jobs—all critical components of an economic transformation agenda.  Several conversations have been taking place to discuss the parameters of the G20’s partnership with Africa, including a T20 Think Tank Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa in February 2017, an international conference on
“Africa in the Perspective of the G20” being hosted in Madrid in April, and several others, all leading to the June 12-13 official G20 Africa Partnership Conference, focused on “Investing in a Common Future”.

In light of these developments, the seminar will focus on opportunities for collaboration in areas known to be among the most important drivers of transformation, including agriculture, skills development and youth employment, light manufacturing, and resource mobilization and management. Each of these issues offer policy challenges, but they all come with immense transformation opportunities that, if embraced, will lead to more jobs, higher wages, and improved quality of life.

We anticipate rich panel and roundtable discussions from leading practitioners and development thinkers, all with an eye towards a shared understanding of Africa’s economic transformation within the context of the G20 Partnership with Africa.


Email Erinn Ofori ( for more information.

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