John Nkengasong, Director of Africa-CDC at a press conference on COVID-19 at AU headquarters, Addis Ababa, March 2020. Photo by Michael Tewelde/AFP

Africa’s fortunes in a post-COVID world will depend on how it navigates the critical questions of vaccine economics – vaccine diplomacy and regional integration. As the continent slowly recovers from the pandemic, it now needs to navigate a trifecta of new challenges – namely, debt, disease and dysfunction. Amid signs of a global economic recovery, continued vaccine inequality and 2020 was a devastating year economically for most of Africa.

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RONAK GOPALDAS is a director at Signal Risk, an exclusively African risk advisory firm. He was previously the head of country risk at Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) for a number of years, where he managed a team who provided the firm with in-depth analysis of economic, political, security and operational dynamics across sub-Saharan Africa. He holds a BCom degree in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) and a BCom (Hons) from the University of Cape Town (UCT). He also has an MSc in finance (economic policy) through the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.[