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AfDB and Harvard Kennedy School train country economists on effective post-COVID-19 response.

AfDB and Harvard Kennedy School train country economists on effective post-COVID-19 response and recovery strategies.




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.

READ: AfDB set to mobilize $25 billion to scale up African climate adaptation

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.”

READ: Africa’s annual infrastructure financing gap estimated at $64-108 billion – AfDB President

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.”

READ: Vaccines and debt relief are critical key to Africa’s recovery from COVID-19 – AfDB boss

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.

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Johnson is a risk management professional and banker with unbridled passion for research and writing. He graduated top of the class with Statistics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA degree with specialization in Finance from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, with fellowships from the Association of Enterprise Risk management Professionals(FERP) and Institute of Credit and Collections management of Nigeria (FICCM). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Risk management in one of the top-rated universities in the UK.

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Bandits kidnap students at Girls Secondary School in Zamfara State

Armed bandits have attacked and abducted students of a secondary school in Zamfara State.



Armed bandits have kidnapped an unspecified number of students at the Girls Secondary School, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

This was disclosed by the state media agency, NTA in a statement on Friday morning.

“Armed bandits kidnapped an unspecified number of Students at Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State,” they said.

More details shortly…

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Border trade: Onion marketers commence land exports to West Africa

Nigerian onion marketers have commenced documented exports to West Africa.



The Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (OPMAN) has inaugurated the launch of documented onion exports to West Africa through the Illela land border in Sokoto State.

This was launched by Mr Abdulrahameed Ma’aji, the Area Controller of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), for Sokoto and Zamfara states on Thursday, as he urged the onion traders to maximize the opportunity for enhanced production and trade with the continent.

He added that the Customs Service had implemented laws and guidelines to improve Nigerian trade and encourage businesses to export to Africa.

“Despite COVID-19 Pandemic, NCS provided proactive solutions to the public that will aid continued reliable and quality service delivery for sustenance of global trade,” Ma’aji said.

READ: FG approves $3.1 billion for automation of Customs, targets $176 billion revenue

National President of OPMAN, Aliyu Maitasamu, stated that the union was working with sister agencies to develop a recovery plan to boost production by 20% each year until 2026.

“In line with the Federal Government’s plan to diversify the economy and create jobs, the union in conjunction with sister bodies in West and Central Africa, developed an onion recovery plan which will target an average steady growth of 20 per cent each year, from 2020 to 2026,” he said.

“Nigeria is among the 10 top onion exporting countries in the world, and with competitive advantage of production, the largest onion producing country in sub-Saharan Africa, with annual 1.4 million metric tonnes in output.

“With the present arrangement, Nigeria will continuously export onions to Niger Republic, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Mali, Cote D’ Ivoire, and others, with more expanding opportunities,” Maitasamu added.

In case you missed: Nairametrics reported on December 16, 2020 that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the immediate reopening of four of Nigeria’s land borders, over a year after they were all shut.

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