COTE D’LVOIRE, West Africa – The African Development Institute (ADI) of the African Development Bank will host a virtual seminar on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, to develop responses to macroeconomic policy challenges facing Africa nations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like elsewhere, African countries are not spared the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their national health systems, economies, trade, cultures, societies, and livelihoods. The public and private sectors, individuals, and communities are struggling to respond to the pandemic amid commercial lockdowns and disruption of income sources.
The seminar, titled “Enhancing Resilience in African Economies: Macro-Economic Policy Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa,” seeks to address the macroeconomic implications for African economies as many nations struggle to roll out fiscal stimulus packages to avoid a total collapse and save livelihoods.
Among the participants, are development partners, including colleagues from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Union Commission; United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the United Nations Development Program and representatives of academic institutions. Key speakers include former finance ministers, central bank governors, global experts and Bank Group executives.
The seminar will also address the ways in which COVID-19 has highlighted inequality in the global economy and the vast disparities in the responses by industrialized countries as against those of African countries, which have had to rely on development institutions to implement contingencies.
The African Development Bank has played a lead role in responding to the crisis by rolling out a series of financial and technical measures to cushion African economies and livelihoods. Its primary channel for the interventions is a Response Facility announced April 7, that provides up to $10 billion to governments and the private sector.
The facility comprises $5.5 billion for sovereign operations in African Development Bank countries, $3.1 billion for sovereign and regional operations for countries under the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional arm that caters to fragile countries, and $1.35 billion for private sector operations.
The bank also raised $3 billion from a three-year Fight COVID-19 bond in late March, and extended $2 million in grants to the World Health Organization to bolster the capacity of 41 African countries on infection prevention, testing and case management.
The IMF and the World Bank have also announced COVID-19 response packages that target African economies and health systems.
The seminar is the first of a series being organized under the auspices of the Global Community of Practice (G-CoP) on COVID-19 Response Strategies, established by ADI to stimulate policy dialogue that will inform Regional Member Countries’ short, medium and long-term policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ADI, a department of the bank, is the focal point for the institution’s capacity development initiatives. In that role, ADI contributes to efforts at building sustainable capacity for development effectiveness in the institution’s regional member countries.