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Prospects for a Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery in Africa: Catch-Up, Don’t Give Up

Join Lyal White and Heinrich Volmink in a panel discussion with Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University), Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University) and Njuguna Ndung’u (African Economic Research Consortium and former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya) moderated by Robert Shapiro (Columbia University and Academy of Political Science).

Started
Monday, 28 February 2022, 08:00 SAST (UTC+2)

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Prospects for a Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery in Africa: Catch-Up, Don’t Give Up

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2019, it changed the way the world worked with far-reaching health and economic effects. The human cost has been enormous and is, with notable exceptions, well documented.

This study seeks to answer the question: How much economic damage was caused and how will African economies recover? Using information from five African countries – Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa – the researchers have produced new insights into the development and structural problems that have arisen and have looked at Africa’s future trajectory.

While the pandemic exposed a range of problems from poor data and high levels of informality in the private sector to comparatively low digital connectedness, inequality, and poor health and education systems, it has also provided a catalyst for change.

The challenges faced by the COVID-19 vaccination rollout across the continent highlight the need to improve health governance, not to mention overcoming international barriers to accessing health products and technologies, including vaccines. The need to bolster the regional bioeconomy and universalise vaccine access has never been clearer.

The time to accelerate and drive alternative areas of development has arrived. Real progress in an endemic world will only occur through a more creative and effective combination of an active private sector with entrepreneurial flair, and targeted government policy and reform.

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Africa

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