Recently at Bloomberg Invest Global our Founder and Chair Mo Ibrahim spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Africa while emphasising the importance of multilateral partners and the private sector to ensure the economic impact of the virus is minimised on the continent. This interview was part of Bloomberg’s 2020 Invest Global virtual event, which took place from 22-24 June, and brought together financial and economic thinkers to explore today’s markets and economies.
Speaking on the involvement of Africa’s multilateral and international partners so far, Mo emphasised that, despite there being goodwill, more needs to be done.
We have to understand, as people, we live together. We cannot defeat this virus in Europe if we do not defeat it in Africa.
When discussing the key players in providing economic support for Africa during the pandemic, Mo stressed that the private sector, although being an essential player in the process of rebuilding the continent, also needs to be assisted given its importance to the continent’s growing young population.
The G20 offered some relief. We need more support from the private sector… We need the private sector because that is what generates jobs. If we fail to do that we have a problem with young people. When there is no hope or jobs, they go into terrorism or anarchy. That is something unacceptable.
For Mo, some of the areas where investment opportunities will arise as the continent comes out of the pandemic are online education, food and agriculture value chain, and electronic payments.
Suddenly, our eyes have been opened: what if education can be delivered online? In the context of Africa where education is a problem that can be a great opportunity going forward.
Re-watch the interview in full on YouTube below (from 46:20 min).
As part of our COVID-19 response, we are working to provide decision-makers and leaders in Africa and partners with accurate data and analysis on the impact of the health crisis on the continent. Visit our COVID-19 in Africa hub to access key resources including research, analysis, news and youth perspectives from the continent.