- H.E. Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, Republic of Ghana
- H.E. Mr. Lassané Kaboré, Minister of Economy, Finance and Development of Burkina Faso
- Ms. Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
- Masood Ahmed, President, Center for Global Development (CGD)
While the COVID-19 pandemic has setback development outcomes across the globe, Africa has felt the economic effects of the pandemic strongly. COVID-19 pushed about 30 million Africans into extreme poverty, with vulnerable groups disproportionately impacted, and the continent experienced its first recession in half a century. Fiscal deficits have reached historic highs, and the debt-to-GDP ratio Africa is expected to increase significantly to over 70 percent in 2021 from 60 percent in 2019, raising concerns of debt sustainability. At the same time, outcomes in education, routine vaccination, and equality have suffered.
Ahead of the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings, the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) will host a public event to provide a platform for African policymakers to set the tone for the discussions taking place during these meetings and the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development. This high-level event will focus on the status of COVID-19 recovery across the continent, ways to improve pandemic preparedness and sustainable response, and what measures should be taken to ensure adequate international support is provided to the continent moving forward.