ADDIS ABABA –– Africa’s leading researchers, economists and multi-sector experts attending Africa’s leading economic gathering 2020 African Economic Conference, have called for a united continental approach against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Panelists attending the three-day virtual conference, which ended on late Thursday, mainly called on both private and public sector actors in the continent to redefine Africa’s development narrative in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Though it has been challenging, COVID-19 has given Africa the opportunity to rethink development paradigms, re-imagine the future, reposition the private sector, and reassess the way we utilize technology,” said Raymond Gilpin, Chief Economist and Head of the Strategy, Analysis and Research Team, at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Hanan Morsy, Director of Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research at the African Development Bank, also echoed Gilpin’s remarks, as she emphasized that deliberations of the high-level continental economic conference are helpful in addressing the needs. “Discussions during the different plenary sessions, side events, and concurrent sessions restored our confidence in an Africa capable of rising from the COVID-19 ashes, becoming more resilient and inclusive. A concerted effort is needed. Let us make good use of our great ideas and good resolutions and turn them into concrete actions,” Morsy said. She also stressed that AfDB is supporting the efforts of its regional member countries to contain the coronavirus and address its economic fallout. “At the African Development Bank, we recognize the scale and complexity of this task. African countries would gain much by not working in silos to address the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. A concerted effort from all is needed,” Morsy said.
African leaders, researchers, private sector attending the three-day gathering also discussed innovative solutions to ensure that the continent bounces back stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 edition of the African Economic Conference was jointly organized by the African Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).