From Rapid Economic Recovery to Structural Transformation:
Africa’s Pathway towards Sustainable Recovery and Development
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a plethora of financial shocks, including the contraction of global GDP, the accumulation of debt, the collapse of investment and the disruption of economic activity worldwide. In Africa, the adverse economic impact of the pandemic has called for an urgent need for structural transformation that capitalizes on pockets of resilience and bolsters the continent‟s ability to respond to crises. The engines of such transformation are sustainable energy, infrastructure, digitalization and adequate financing. Nonetheless, the continent continues to face major development challenges: approximately 600 million people lack access to energy, and only 28% of healthcare facilities have access to reliable electricity. Compounded with infrastructural gaps and a “digital divide”, with only 39% of the population having access to the internet, the continent needs to channel investment and financing opportunities to tap into its potential to build the resilience of African societies against disruptive shocks and accelerate their post-crisis recovery.
This session will assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic growth and development progress in Africa. More specifically, it will discuss how to utilize financial mechanisms, flexible financing, as well as innovative and targeted investment to advance equitable COVID-19 recovery and long-term sustainable development to ensure the fulfillment of Africa‟s true potential (given its rich abundance of human and natural resources.) It will also highlight means of building a greener, stronger, post-COVID economic environment to further develop sustainable energy, infrastructure and digitalization, which is key to advancing peace and prosperity on the continent.