News & Media / Pandemic recovery presents an opportunity for Africa to reinvent its growth model

Pandemic recovery presents an opportunity for Africa to reinvent its growth model

02 June, 2021

The 2021 Ibrahim Forum Report, COVID-19 in Africa one year on: Impact and Prospects, outlines how recovery from the pandemic provides an opportunity to define and drive a new growth model for the continent.

Launched by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation ahead of the 2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend (IGW), the report presents new analysis on Africa’s challenges as exposed by the pandemic, including weak health capacities, setbacks in human development, rising instability and a vulnerable economic growth model. The comprehensive report on the impact of COVID-19 across the continent serves as an urgent wake-up call. It also points to clear avenues where Africa can now build back better.

Commenting on the launch of today’s report, Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said:

Africa has demonstrated strong leadership in its response to COVID-19. However, the data also shows where we are falling short. We now have an opportunity to harness lessons from the pandemic to build an African-led recovery that champions good governance, strengthens continental integration, and puts young people at its centre. This will be the focus of the 2021 Ibrahim Governance Weekend and I look forward to our discussions, involving voices from across Africa and beyond.

Using the latest data, the report provides a comprehensive picture of the impact of the pandemic across Africa, highlighting structural weaknesses in its health and economic systems. It also reveals how COVID-19 has deepened existing development and security challenges, and is exacerbating a pre-existing youth unemployment crisis.

However, the report also outlines the continent’s strong and unified response to this crisis, and points to opportunities for African leadership to create lasting change for generations to come. An African-led recovery, underpinned by stronger continental integration, economic diversification, a green strategy and digital leapfrogging, can pave the way for a more self-reliant, self-sufficient Africa.

The Ibrahim Forum Report will inform discussions around the impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s health, economic and political systems during the Ibrahim Governance Weekend, taking place 3-5 June 2021. The IGW brings together leaders, decision-makers and youth voices from across Africa and beyond to discuss issues of critical importance to the continent’s progress. Unpacking the findings of the Forum Report, the 2021 IGW will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on Africa and the path to recovery.

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