20 June 2018 | ACET African Transformation Forum: Manufacturing Chapter Session


SET has worked closely with the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) since the first African Transformation Forum (ATF) in 2016.

ACET, in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, hosts the second ATF on June 20-21 2018. The ATF is a unique, policy-focused event that will bring together leading experts and practitioners to share perspectives on how to accelerate job growth, boost investment, and implement transformation policies.

As part of an ongoing collaboration as knowledge partners, SET hosts the third session of the Manufacturing Chapter. The aim of the Chapter (launched in June 2017, followed by a working session in December 2017) is to drive continuous conversation for African leaders to shape their countries’ industrialisation issues in the context of Africa’s transformation agenda.

The objective of this third session is to share experiences around the factors for success in African manufacturing. Country representatives from Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and others will share their successes, challenges faced and plans for the future. Industry experts and senior officials from key government ministries, departments and agencies from selected African countries, development partners, civil society organisations, academia and the media are invited to participate.


10:15 – 10:30 Welcome

Hon. Robert Ahomka-Lindsay: Deputy Minister (Industry) Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana

10:30 – 10:45 Summary of PACT Chapter progress

Buddy Buruku, ACET

This session will provide the summary of activities of the light manufacturing chapter of PACT since its inception.

10:45 – 13:00 Moderated Q&A

Moderator: Dr. Dirk Willem te Velde, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

This session will focus on knowledge sharing around the core areas deemed pivotal to unlocking light manufacturing in Africa. Discussion will focus on how to get the basics of industrialisation right and how to mount an effective export push, among other topics. This session will provide an opportunity to hear from country representatives on how they are addressing various issues, specifically highlighting what has and hasn’t worked well. The session will include Q&A with participants.

13:00 – 14:00   Lunch

14:00 – 15:00  Panel on key issues in manufacturing

Moderator: Tony Oteng Gyasi – Managing Director, Tropical Cables and Conductors


  • Hanna Zemichael, Chief of Staff, Ethiopia Investment Commission
  • Alphonse Kwizera, Director, Rwanda Association of Manufacturers
  • Gituro Wainana, Former Head of Kenya’s Vision 2030

This session will feature stakeholders from various sectors who will respond to the issues raised in the morning discussion based on their own perspectives.  The objective is to bring in the view point of private sector, development partners, and CSO/think tank, etc. on the central challenges and opportunities highlighted by policy makers from various countries. The session will include Q&A with participants.

15:00 – 15:45  Presentation and discussion on future of industrialisation and Job Creation


Presenter: Karishma Banga – Senior Research Officer, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

This session will explore key new issues related to job creation and the future of industrialisation. African countries need to create 15 million additional jobs each year until 2030 (or 40,000 each day) in order to keep up with demographic challenges, yet the manufacturing sector has so far not met these needs. It is critical that countries consider the changing nature of work and where job creation opportunities are most likely to present themselves given the global shift toward digitalisation and automation (i.e. the 4th industrial revolution). Policy makers, private sector, development partners and research institutions, etc. will discuss their role in transforming the manufacturing space. The session will include Q&A with participants.

15:45- 16:00  Coffee break

16:00 – 17:15   PACT Consensus and way forward

Dr. Dirk Willem te Velde

Nigel Gwynne-Evans, Chief Director African Industrial Development, The Department of Trade and Industry South Africa

This session will synthesise the key issues discussed throughout the day, including distilling the key issues to be addressed in the sector for there to be measurable progress in the short- to medium-term. The objective is for the participants to come to a broad consensus on what the PACT chapter will focus on going forward and which activities it will aim to prioritise. These will be reported back to all ATF 2018 participants at the plenary on Day 2.

Background materials

DOWNLOAD: Manufacturing Chapter Launch – 5 June 2017

DOWNLOAD: Manufacturing Chapter Working Session One – 11 Dec 2017

DOWNLOAD: Manufacturing Chapter Working Session Two – 20 June 2018

DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION: Digitalisation in African manufacturing