11:00—12:15 PM Washington DC time

COVID-19 Stocktake and the Hurdles to Vaccine Access Across Africa


  • Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education
  • Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance of Ghana
  • John Nkengasong, Director of Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa  (UNECA)


  • Masood Ahmed, President, Center for Global Development


The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed up to 40 million Africans into extreme poverty and the continent experienced its first recession in half a century. Global vaccination efforts have left Africa behind: less than two percent of the African population has been vaccinated compared to over 70 percent in the European Union. As Delta and other emerging variants present new challenges for Africa, COVID-19 deaths have surged, hospital admissions have increased rapidly, and countries face shortages of oxygen and intensive care beds.

During this event, co-hosted by the Center for Global Development and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, we will discuss the impact COVID-19 continues to have across Africa and the necessary measures the international community should take to address the emerging dangerous divergence between advanced and lower income economies. We hope to set the tone for conversations surrounding these challenging issues during the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings.

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit them to [email protected], tweet @CGDev #CGDTalks, or submit your comments via YouTube.

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