The African Economic Conference (AEC) will hold its thirteenth edition from December 3-4, 2018 in Kigali Rwanda, under the theme: Regional and Continental Integration for Africa’s Development.
The conference, which is held annually, convenes key development actors, academics, researchers, development partners, politicians and financiers. This year, Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Oxford University Blavatnik School of Government, will give the keynote speech.
Organisers say the meeting will build on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) signed by 44 African nations in Kigali in March 2018.
“This, not only signified African unity but also the possibilities of what Africa could become from a developmental perspective. The possibilities of larger markets attracting investment, improvement in Africa’s productive capacity due to economies of scale and the possibilities of increased movement of goods, services and people across borders,” African Development Bank Director for Regional Integration, Moono Mupotol says.
According to the organisers, this year’s meeting will focus, among others, on initiatives for accelerating progress in infrastructure integration, including the removal of barriers for movement of people goods and services across borders. Experts will share views, best practices and lessons on transforming regional institutions for more effective policy and institutional harmonization in the context of the new Africa Continental Free Trade Area, and other continent wide agendas including Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the global Agenda 2030.
The information, technology and digital revolutions are vital to transforming the way of doing business across the continent, thus the need for experts to examine how to better integrate public and private efforts to improve the environment for conducting business in Africa. The meeting will also examine way to reduce the cost of business and building viable value chains for agriculture, commodities and services.
“Our job as the African Development Bank is to make the AfCFTA a reality by helping our regional member countries implement the agreement. The Bank has already provided an initial grant of about US$5 million to support the Africa Union Commission in making the AfCFTA a reality,” Muptola says.
The African Economic Conference is jointly organized by the African Development Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).