Addressing the Social and Economic Shock of COVID-19 on African Economies: A Conversation with Dr. Albert Zeufack
June 17, 2020 at 3 – 4PM Washington D.C Time
8 – 9PM Cameroon Time
The Covid-19 pandemic is the worse health crisis that has plagued the world since the outbreak of the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919, and the most challenging crisis the world has faced since the Second World War. The pandemic has caused severe economic repercussions in many countries, in addition to the health consequences with regards to mortality and morbidity. It has brought the global economy to a standstill as all forms of economic activity have been significantly interrupted to curtail the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, the African continent has not escaped the health and economic devastation of the pandemic.
In Africa, the economic, social, and health problems brought by this pandemic further strain economies which have been struggling to recover from the impacts of a drastic fall in oil and commodity prices since 2014. According to the World Bank’s biannual Africa’s Pulse report, economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, is expected to decline from 2.4% in 2019 to between -2.1 and -5.1% in 2020. The region, the report predicts, will experience its first economic recession in the last 25 years. If adequate macroeconomic measures are not taken and quickly, the recession will undoubtedly lead to an economic depression. However, the depth of the recession will depend on the success of measures taken to mitigate its effects. Thus, critical analysis of the macroeconomic state of African economies amid the COVID-19 pandemic and brainstorming on the most effective policy options are urgently needed to not only cushion the economic pain but also lay the framework for a robust and inclusive recovery.
2. The overall goal of this event
- To better understand how Africa is coping with COVID-19 and the short, medium- and long-term socio-economic ramifications on the continent
3. Main themes to be discussed during the event:
- Economic impact of COVID-19 on the global economy with emphasis on African economies
- What various countries, multilateral partners and development finance institutions have done to respond so far
- Understanding the gaps in response, what more needs to be done
- How is the pandemic and the current responses being experienced by various sectors (agriculture, manufacturing, services, etc)?
- What must be done by African leaders and friends of Africa to maximize the opportunities the pandemic offers to ensure the continent comes out stronger in the Post-COVID World?
- At the end of this event, participants will understand the following:
- Even though COVID-19 is a health crisis, it has serious economic consequences all over the world.
- The macroeconomic effects of COVID-19 on the global economy at large and African economies in particular.
- The state of the African economies before the COVID-19 Pandemic. Accurate statistics concerning the economic impact of COVID-19 on the African and world economy.
- The impact of COVID-19 on various economic activities such as investments, production, distribution, and international trade.
- The different macroeconomic options that could tackle the consequences of the pandemic on African economies.
5. Date and Venue
- June 17, 2020 from 3-4PM Washington D.C Time / 9-10PM Cameroon Time
- Event will be held on ZOOM and streamed live
Dr Albert Zeufack
Chief Economist for the Africa Region World Bank Group – Washington D.C
Dr Denis Foretia
Executive Chairman – Nkafu Policy Institute and Co-Chair – Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation
The event will bring together public policy experts, policy makers at the national, continental and international levels, leaders of civil society organizations, economists, leaders of NGOs and international organizations. It will be open to the general public with a session for Q&A.