Category: AIF Issue 59

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Africa and vaccine economics

  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 […]

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African authoritarianism: COVID rules should be regularly reviewed, not normalised

  On 11 March, 2020, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) formally designated COVID-19 as a global pandemic. Citing “alarming levels of spread and severity”, he called on governments to take “urgent and aggressive action” to tackle the crisis. Most countries based their response on the 1966 International Covenant […]

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Africa’s policies must leverage pandemic-created opportunities

  Two meetings of African leaders in May and July on the region’s post-pandemic economic recovery strategies were not short on big declarations. In Paris, the first summit, facilitated by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, promised to rally global financial support to replenish Africa’s depleted coffers under a “new deal”. Macron pledged to persuade richer […]

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After COVID it’s time for Africa’s green revolution

The continent is looking to put the green agenda at the heart of its COVID-19 economic recovery, with the proposal of the African Green Stimulus Programme (AGSP) to catalyse the recovery of key sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. “The programme aims to mobilise financial and technical resources to upscale and enhance the implementation of […]

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Crunch time for Africa’s health systems

  In November 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa convened the Fifth Health Sector Directors’ Meeting across its 47 member states. Aptly, the focus was on building resilient health systems in the WHO Africa region, given the effects of COVID-19 on already struggling African health systems, and the need to respond […]

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Regional integration a must in post-COVID Africa

Regional integration helps countries overcome divisions that impede the flow of goods, services, capital, people and ideas. The World Bank has described these divisions as a constraint to economic growth, especially in developing countries. “The idea is that by having a larger market, there is more built-in flexibility in terms of sourcing and selling different […]

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Africa is tough for small business but COVID-19 has created opportunities too

Africa is a tough place for small businesses, given its high-cost operating environments, onerous compliance issues and lack of support where it matters. Many fall by the wayside as a result of these challenges. Yet, small and medium enterprises are the backbone of African economies. And their success and growth has never been more important […]

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Africa’s dual catastrophe of COVID-19 and water and food insecurity

Food and water insecurity have saddled Africa with a risk tantamount to a pandemic, but the COVID-19 shock has made the threat even more and immediate. Water scarcities and poor sanitation services, food insecurities and starvation plagued Africa prior to COVID-19, partly caused by meagre water investments and a stunted green revolution. Climate change, exacerbating […]

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Africa’s informal traders adapt to hostile COVID environment

    By the beginning of July 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had gripped the world, shutting down much of what had previously been taken for granted. Perhaps more significantly, it had laid a deep sense of trepidation on the world. On the fifth of the month, police raided the Jambanja, Unit L, market in the […]

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The pandemic has boosted Africa’s digital transformation

  Africa’s opportunity to transform itself into a “cyber-continent”, bypassing capital-intensive legacy infrastructure and leaping straight into the fourth industrial revolution, has been boosted by the unusual digitalisation demands of the global pandemic – but this new world requires its own unique infrastructure, skills, services, investors and entrepreneurs.Digitalisation’s strongest suit is, as noted by Dr […]

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Africa’s high youth unemployment a security threat post COVID

  The youth make up 75% of sub-Saharan Africa’s total population. Even at a broader level, almost 200 million people aged between 15 and 24 live in Africa. It has the youngest population in the world. In addition, some 60% of the continent’s unemployed population is made up of young people. Another, sometimes overlooked, challenge […]

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