What started as a single COVID-19 case has caused a contraction of about 2% in GDP in sub-Saharan Africa. As of 2020, the African Development Bank (AfDB) estimated that Africa would need at least $500 billion to rebuild economies. The pandemic caused massive economic setbacks and strained the continent’s ability to enhance development. Some countries were already financially strained in their ability to effectively implement COVID-19 measures and create stimulus packages, forcing them to redirect finances to COVID-19 responses. Despite the risk of recession, African countries are making efforts to ensure socio-economic gains. The greatest challenge the continent faces is finding a balance between increasing consumption for the socio wellbeing of people while ensuring that the transition towards a low-carbon economy is equitable. It is, therefore, important that these are accompanied by sustainable growth and less reliance on carbon-heavy industries.  

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Leleti Maluleke is a Junior Researcher for our Human Security and Climate Change programme. She completed her Bachelor of Political Science in Political Studies in 2017, and her Honours in International Relations in 2018 at the University of Pretoria. She started her career at International SOS in the Security Services department as a Political Risk and Security Intern. Socially, her countries of interests include Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.