Global Leadership to Support Africa's Response to COVID-19 [Audio]
Published April 29, 2020
88 min
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    Speaker(s): Professor Paul Collier, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minouche Shafik | Speakers discuss the challenges facing African countries and lessons from the Ebola crisis, and explore how countries can best respond to the macro crisis caused by the collapse of natural resource prices and trade, capital flight, and disrupted global supply chains. As COVID-19 continues to spread, the impact to lives and the global economy is increasing at an unprecedented speed and scale. So far, outbreaks have been predominantly addressed at national levels, as governments deal with critical threats to public health systems and domestic economies. However, the pandemic has also revealed the extent of our interconnectedness, with national responses having consequences on neighbouring countries and beyond. Various international organisations, leaders, economists, and health experts have called for global coordinated action to respond to the evolving health and societal crisis wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic – including how to support African countries that are bracing for the worst. To ensure effective global support for the most vulnerable countries, committing resources to and coordinating fiscal, monetary, and anti-protectionist initiatives are needed. Paul Collier is a Director of the IGC and a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford; Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies; a CEPR Research Fellow; and Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford. He was formerly the senior advisor to Tony Blair’s Commission on Africa, and was Director of the Development Research group at the World Bank for five years. He researches the causes and consequences of civil war; the effects of aid; and the problems of democracy in low-income and natural-resource-rich societies. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (@MaEllenSirleaf) is a Liberian politician who served as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. Sirleaf was the first elected female head of state in Africa. She is the co-chair of the IGC’s Council on State Fragility. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (@NOIweala) was Nigeria’s Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2015, and Foreign Minister in 2006. She was Managing Director of the World Bank from 2007 to 2011, overseeing South Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, and is currently Senior Adviser at Lazard, Board Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and a Senior Advisor to the IGC. She is the author of Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria. Jonathan Leape is the Executive Director of the IGC, which he has led since 2013, and Associate Professor of Economics at LSE. Prior to joining the IGC, he was director of the Centre for Research into Economics and Finance in Southern Africa, which was established at LSE in 1990 as an initiative of the Commonwealth Heads of Government to support the democratic transition in South Africa. He has advised a number of African governments, with a focus on tax and regulatory issues, and served as Chief Academic Advisor on Taxation to the UK Government Economic Service.
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