Latest News

Mo Ibrahim talks lessons from COVID-19 in Africa with Deutsche Welle

In a recent interview with Deutsche Welle Africa, our Founder and Chair Mo Ibrahim spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the continent, and what is needed to improve international organisations and governance in Africa.

For Mo Ibrahim, strengthening systems of governance in international organisations is essential, as many of them are becoming the tools of the few large shareholders on their boards.

The international organisation is the battleground between the superpowers. That's really unfortunate. We Africans, who do not even have the power to abuse any of these organisations, can only really ask for a better governance regime.

Mo stressed that, although the majority of African leaders acted in a quick and coordinated manner in their responses to COVID-19, the potential economic impacts of the pandemic are a reason to worry.

African economies are fragile. It could be even worse than the health consequences, unfortunately. Much of our revenue is dependent on the export of raw materials. That sector has been hit badly.

However, there will be valuable lessons to draw from the pandemic in areas that go from health structures to entrepreneurship.

We need to have resilient health care systems in our countries where it is underfunded, under resourced, understaffed. The second lesson we learned is this overdependence on minerals, oil and the export of raw materials is not really the way forward.

Read the full interview including Mo’s thoughts on US President Donald Trump's criticism of the World Health Organisation, the African Union and how Africans can contribute to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

The interview is also available in Portuguese.

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.