How COVID-19 is impacting Africa

20 May 2020

Post-COVID-19 Recovery Plans

An ABIQ webinar

Africa needs its own version of the Marshall Plan, which rescued European economies devastated by the Second World War, in order to recover from the effects of Covid 19, a webinar held by ABIQ heard.

Dan Klinck, CEO of East African Power, said the continent needs an investment of  US$1tn across the next 10 years.

“This might seem like a big number,” he said. “But there is capacity in the west to hit the print button, which we don’t have.”

The webinar panel heard how COVID- 19 had hit infrastructure projects, SMEs, transport, infrastructure and investment across the continent.

One solution called for an approach comparable to a medical triage, where funding was prioritised for sustainable and resilient projects.  Cameroon-based economist Hugue Nkoutchou said “strategic and dramatic decisions” need to be taken to ensure the public and private sectors act together to accelerate recovery.

The discussion agreed priority needed to be given to the construction sector, both to provide short term jobs and offer housing to social distancing standards.

Jean Laurent Pyndiah, mergers and acquisitions specialist, identified the economic sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, including oil exports and tourism. But he said monies raised before the crisis were still available and waiting for the right investment opportunities.

David Baxter, of the World Association of PPP Units called for ombudsmen to be appointed to identify where funds could be most effectively spent.

“Strategic projects should not be allowed to fail as reconstruction costs would be huge,” he said.

He told the panel that COVID-19 had taken attention away from other important factors such as climate change, and these needed to be included in recovery plans, adding “projects need to be future-proof to prevent further future shocks”.

Challenges were identified for investors in the form of volatile currencies, corruption and credit default.

In conclusion, Pyndiah called for “integrated sustainable development goals to align with what investors are looking for”.

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