Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has rallied Africans to have a “can-do mindset” and work together to drive the continent’s economic transformation agenda.
“The most important transformation is the transformation of our mindset. We have to believe that we can do what other countries and continents have done.
It is not rocket science. We must have a mindset of making things possible, not one of thinking major achievements, are impossible.”
Vice President Bawumia was addressing the two-day 2018 African Transformation Forum, organized by the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), an economic policy institute, in Accra.
In attendance were officials from the African Union (AU), Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), African Development Bank (AfDB), captains’ of industry, policy makers and think tanks from Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
It provided the platform to exhaustively discuss ways to boost economic growth.
The Vice President said making meaningful progress with the economy required concerted effort of all key stakeholders.
Africa’s economic transformation agenda would make headway when policy think tanks, policy institutes, research and capacity-building organisations collaborated and complemented each other’s strengths and weaknesses, shared knowledge and experiences and held each other accountable.
He urged the adoption of new approaches and partnerships that would inform African governments about matters relating to “agriculture, youth unemployment, leveraging resources for growth and frontier issues in technological adaptation and diffusion of knowledge that will shape our continent and our lives”.
Vice President Bawumia noted that the continent had undergone slow economic growth since the 1990s and said it was important to recognize that the depth of growth was relevant to economic transformation.
He underlined the need to break away from dependency and to take responsibility for ensuring strong macro-economic stability and growth with depth.
He called for stronger domestic resource mobilisation and leveraging of natural resources to make the transformation agenda a reality.
Vice President Bawumia touched on Ghana’s economy and said it was witnessing transformational shift in gross domestic product (GDP) values in some sectors although it had been slow in coming.
Building “Ghana beyond aid” was the ultimate goal of the government, which would make the nation prosperous and self-confident – to be in charge of its economic destiny.
He added that, “this is not just a slogan, but rather an aspiration that we are working towards vigorously.
As my President has indicated, we cannot just talk about it- we need to make it happen”.
He said Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, was one of the earliest advocates for Pan-Africanism, worked towards regional integration and wanted economic transformation for the African continent.
He indicated that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by 44 African countries in Kigali, Rwanda, earlier this year, was an important part of that process.
Dr. K.Y. Amoako, the President and Founder of ACET, said their goal was to support Africa’s long-term economic growth.
He hinted at setting up an African Leadership Panel, comprising eminent African men and women, to be chaired by the former Liberian President, Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to influence policies and champion Africa’s economic transformation agenda.