The COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring to the fore unprecedented challenges on the global, regional and national levels. While Africa has experienced relatively lower numbers of COVID-19 cases, the health emergency has rapidly unraveled into a full-blown socioeconomic crisis. With a global financial contraction underway and an impending recession, there is a clear set back in development efforts across the continent. The pandemic has also magnified the underlying systemic risks and structural inequalities that far predate the crisis, most notably for vulnerable populations including women, children and displaced persons. At the same time, challenges to peace, security and development still persist as the continent continues to witness an upsurge in terrorism, transnational organized crime, and violent conflict.
In response to these challenges, African leaders and the African Union (AU) have shown strong leadership in mitigating the immediate health impact of the pandemic and are currently striving to secure large scale access to COVID-19 vaccines for the continent. They are also seeking to lay a strong foundation for long-term reforms, resilience-building and inclusive governance which also contribute to the humanitarian- development-peace nexus. This multifaceted effort is centered around sustaining peace, fostering economic development and growth, strengthening healthcare systems, enhancing access to digital technologies, improving infrastructure, boosting trade, scaling-up renewable energy solutions, and advancing more robust partnerships. Accordingly, this session serves as a conversation starter to examine how pathways to recover stronger and rebuild better can support progress towards achieving the AU‟s 2063 Agenda: the Africa We Want and the United Nations‟ Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.