The African Development Bank (AfDB) is collaborating with Harvard Kennedy School to train the Bank’s Country Economists on effective post-COVID-19 response and recovery strategies for Africa.
Seventy economists drawn from all the bank’s country offices participated in the interactive program, which ran virtually from 18 January to 10 February 2021.
According to Emmanuel Pinto Moreira, Director of the Country Economics Department of AfDB,
- “The program would help the Bank’s economists to respond to the needs of regional member countries (RMCs) as they chart their economic recovery from the pandemic.
- “The Bank is increasingly shifting towards a knowledge institution and an influencer of policy reforms in the RMCs.
- “Our country economists, who engage with RMCs regularly, are frequently faced with important policy questions and demand for advice on fiscal and social policies that RMCs should adopt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery strategies.
What others are saying
According to Dr. Awuese Oku, the Bank’s Chief Learning and Development Officer, “The Bank can only give what it has; therefore, the Bank’s support to the RMCs can only be as good as the knowledge that Bank Staff possess”.
According to Cedric Mbeng Mezui, the Bank’s Chief African Bond Markets Expert,
- “The economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 pandemic demands innovative responses to transform African economies.
- “I find the Smart Policy Design and Implementation (SPDI) methodology proposed and discussed in the course to be a powerful tool for developing post-COVID proposals.”
According to Joel Muzima, a Principal Country Economist, “This is a cutting-edge training and facilitated by top-notch scholars. I am confident that this training will help sharpen my analytical skills and critical thinking for country dialogue and designing country strategies and diagnostics to assist Bank’s regional member countries ‘build back better’ post-COVID-19.”
According to Katy Doyle, Director for Evidence for Policy Design, Center for International Development (CID) based at Harvard Kennedy School, “We are excited to welcome economists from the African Development Bank to this special program on the challenges of COVID-19 and multi-sectoral response to achieve inclusive growth.”
Why this matters
- African economies shrank by 2.1% in 2020, with the pandemic compounding an already alarming state of indebtedness.
- Africa needs appropriate response strategies not just to respond to the effects of the pandemic, but also how to build strong systems.
- The COVID-19 outbreak has triggered a global economic downturn, with populations locked down and business, industry and trade heavily impacted.
- The training would properly equip the staff to contend and manage several emerging economic issues confronting the African nations.
- AfDB’s country offices, country economists have an important role to play in providing member countries with advice on response strategies to ensure a gradual recovery from the impact of COVID-19, with the longer-term aim of “building back better” and fostering inclusive growth.