Belinda Ayamgha, GNA
Accra, June 22, GNA - The Pan-African Coalition for Transformation (PACT) is set to establish two more chapters in Agriculture and Skills Development and Youth Training at the second Africa Transformation Forum (ATF2018) in Accra.
The formal establishment of the two additional chapters, as an outcome of the ATF2018, is a reflection of the importance of the issues in driving transformation across the Africa continent.
It will bring the functioning PACT chapters to five, including extractives, resource mobilisation and management and light manufacturing.
According to Dr. Kingsley Y. Amoako, Founder and President of Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), who spoke at the opening of the Forum in Accra on Wednesday, the PACT was conceived and established at the first AFT in Kigali Rwanda, from the concept that African countries could accomplish more by working together than by working apart.
He said the PACT agriculture chapter, will use the 2017 African Transformation Report, produced by ACET, which focused exclusively on agriculture and how to leverage it to transform as the starting point.
He explained that the analytical work on the chapter had been done and the ATF2018 was for countries to share experiences and agree on how each country could move forward.
Speaking to the GNA, he said while investments in agriculture remained low in Ghana and other countries, agriculture remained the most dominant sector in many African countries, contributing the most to GDP, as well as in terms of employment.
“It is still an important sector, and there are still a lot of challenges, and modernising agriculture is particularly important,” he said.
He explained that averagely, Africa had an ageing workforce in agriculture age with most farmers being about 60 years, thus the challenge was to ensure that agriculture became attractive for young people.
To do this, there was the need for input supply, mechanisation, as well as expansion in sizes of farmland to allow the young people to make a decent living in agriculture.
On the Skills Development and Youth Training chapter, Dr Amoako said the employment challenge facing Africa was huge, with most youth unemployed, while the youth population continued to bulge, with Africa predicted to have the largest youth population in the world by 2050.
“At the same time, the nature of work is also changing; there’s robotics, there’s mechanisation, there’s artificial intelligence…so the education system is important.
“We need to ensure that more students get science, technical, engineering and mathematics education. We need to ensure they have the right skills for what employers want,” he stated.
He also stressed the need for Technical, Vocational Education and Training to be an integral part of Africa’s education system.
He noted that ACET and the government of Ghana had held a forum a few months ago to bring stakeholders together to identify clear and deliverable policy recommendations and intended to have similar events in other countries.
He said the next phase of the chapter would be underpinned by research and analysis on education, skills and the future of work in Africa conducted by ACET on behalf of the Mastercard Foundation and other institutions.
“ACET realises that its work cannot be done alone, nor should it,” and commended ACET’s partner institutions and partners for their collaboration in pushing progress with the PACT.
The two-day ATF2018, on the theme “Dialogue for Action”, co-hosted by the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) and the Government of Ghana provides an opportunity for the private sector, policymakers and development to engage each other on how best to advance the economic transformation of Africa, particularly in those areas highlighted by the Pan-Africa Coalition for Transformation (PACT).
The PACT is a peer-peer learning platform organised in chapters around key issues that drive economic transformation which was formed at the first African Transformation Forum held in Kigali Rwanda. PACT chapters to be covered at the ATF2018 are: Resource Mobilisation and Management, Agriculture, Skills Development and Youth Training, Extractives and Light Manufacturing.