Leadership Group Discusses Priority Issues for African Recovery

As Africa countries ramp up their responses to the novel coronavirus, increased
collaboration between governments and development partners is needed to ensure
urgent priorities are addressed for both immediate and long-term needs, according to one group of global experts.

The Transformation Leadership Panel (TLP), an initiative of the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), held a virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 27, to assess the state of COVID-19 interventions in Africa so far, share lessons learned, and consider new avenues for policy action in support of African governments.

“We are living in an extraordinary time, which calls for strong partnership, coordination,
collaboration, and solidarity,” said former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who serves as TLP Chair. “This is an opportunity for all governments—rich and poor, north and south—to think about reform that has been lacking for a long time.”

Formed in July 2019, the TLP is a body of 17 eminent figures from Africa and around the
world united by a shared vision and mission: to influence, support, and advise leaders on
critical and necessary action to achieve economic transformation in Africa by 2030.

The sudden and dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has given new urgency to policy measures that will enable sustainable and equitable growth.

According to the World Bank, growth in sub-Saharan Africa could contract by up to 5.1 percent in 2020.

Over more than two hours, panel members highlighted a variety of priority issues that can help economies rebound more quickly in the short term while keeping Africa’s growth prospects—and transformation agenda—on track for the long term, including the need to ensure that financial resources directed toward pandemic recovery are managed in a transparent process and are accessible to those who need them.

Other topics included accelerating digital innovation, encouraging business and investment, and mitigating the impact on vulnerable populations, including women and youth.

“Our intention is to work together to ensure African governments and their development
partners remain engaged around these extremely relevant issues even as emergency measures continue to unfold,” said ACET founder and President Dr. K.Y. Amoako, also a member of the TLP.

The inaugural meeting of the TLP was held in Accra, Ghana in 2019.

Other members of the TLP include, in alphabetical order:
Masood Ahmed, President of the Center for Global Development; Dolika Banda, CEO of
African Risk Capacity; Charles Boamah, former Senior Vice President of the African
Development Bank; Ann Cotton, OBE, Founder and Trustee of Camfed International; and Bineta Diop, Africa Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security.

Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Africa; Agnes Kalibata, President, AGRA; Acha Leke, McKinsey and Company’s Africa Region Chair; Stefano Manservisi, former Director-General, DEVCO, European Commission; and Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki, former prime minister of Niger & CEO, AUDA-NEPAD.

James Mwangi, Managing Director & CEO of Equity Group Holdings; Ndidi Nwuneli, Co-
founder and Managing Partner, Sahel Capital; Reeta Roy, President & CEO of the Mastercard Foundation; Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa; and Gayle Smith, President and CEO of the ONE Campaign.

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