MIASA Policy Conference Draws Attention to Accelerating Africa's Economic Transformation

In a bid to catalyse discussions on advancing Africa's economic landscape, the recently held MIASA's second Policy Conference brought together key stakeholders, policymakers and thought leaders from across the continent to dialogue and propose solutions for Africa’s economic development.
The two-day conference, held under the theme "Accelerating Africa’s Economic Transformation towards Shared Prosperity and Sustainability," was organised by the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) at the College of Humanities (COH), in collaboration with the Institute for Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana, the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Germany, and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany.
In the first keynote address during the opening ceremony, Prof. Kevin Chika Urama, Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance & Knowledge Management at the African Development Bank Group, emphasised the imperative for transformative initiatives to drive Africa into a new era of sustainable growth and prosperity.
Prof. Urama highlighted the critical role of innovation, strategic economic governance, and knowledge management in accelerating Africa's economic transformation. He underscored the importance of shared prosperity and sustainability as overarching goals, calling for collaborative efforts and forward-thinking policies to propel the continent toward a more resilient and prosperous future.
In his insightful keynote discourse, the second for the conference, Prof. Stefan Dercon, a distinguished Professor of Economic Policy and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford, addressed the theme of 'gambling for development’. He underscored the pivotal role of an elite agreement in fostering growth and development among nations.
Prof. Stefan Dercon underscored that fostering peace, a growth-oriented and self-aware state, and widespread elite accountability are pivotal elements for accelerating Africa's economic transformation toward shared prosperity and sustainability.
Earlier, the Ghanaian Director at MIASA Dr. Grace Diabah in her remarks, stressed that the MIASA Conference is not merely an event, but a movement aimed at driving tangible change across the African continent.
The German Director at MIASA, Dr. Susann Baller, who gave an overview of the event, expressed her delight at the Conference as it hopes to facilitate a policy-relevant exchange and thought-provoking discussion.
Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori, Provost of the College of Humanities and Chairman of the session, conveyed his excitement during the welcome address for the Conference. He expressed the significance of the event in urging participants to surpass traditional methods and create inventive policies capable of triggering substantial change.
Prof. Ofori also expressed optimism that the Conference would ignite fresh concepts, foster valuable connections, and establish the groundwork for impactful collaborations aimed at advancing Africa's economic development.
Throughout the event, panel discussions and poster presentations delved into a range of topics, including innovative financing models, technology-driven solutions, and inclusive policies. Experts emphasised the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors to drive impactful change in Africa.
One notable session addressed the role of entrepreneurship in Africa's economic transformation. Speakers shared success stories of homegrown businesses making significant contributions to their local economies. The discourse extended to the importance of nurturing a conducive environment for startups and fostering a culture of innovation.
The Conference also addressed challenges hindering economic progress, such as infrastructural gaps, access to finance, and geopolitical influences. Thought leaders engaged in lively debates, proposing actionable strategies to overcome these hurdles and create an environment conducive to sustainable development.
Poster presentations by researchers across Africa explored various topics such as “Effect of Exchange Rate Volatility on Financial Sector Development: Evidence from Nigeria and South Africa", “Global Value Chain Participation of Agri-Firms, Post-Harvest Losses and Welfare of Household in USA" and “Health Insurance in Times of Health and Economic Uncertainty: Empirical Evidence from Poor Neighborhoods in Urban Ghana”.
The event hosted notable figures, including Prof. Charles Ackah (ISSER); Prof. Jann Lay (GIGA); Prof. Abena Oduro (Department of Economics, University of Ghana and spokesperson of MIASA’s Executive Council); Prof. Rainer Thiele (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Prof. Nkechi Owoo and Dr. Edward Asiedu (University of Ghana); Dr. Agnes Schneider Musah (MIASA coordinator) as well as Gabriele Tetzlaff, GIGA.