African Countries Come Together To Charter A Way Forward To Recover From Economic Shock

African economies have been urged to include food security, climate change mitigation and adaption framework in the economic agenda. The 57th African Economies Research Conference convened policymakers, researchers, media, economists, academics, and non-state actors. During the biannual meeting,  speeches, presentations, plenary and concurrent sessions emphasized on protection of African markets and recovery of economies.

Speaking at the event, Cabinet Secretary of the National Treasury and Economics Planning in Kenya, Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, reiterated the need for governments across the continent to focus on protecting private investments, recovering the health in infrastructure, education and nutrition as part of recovery from the multiple shocks.

“We can accelerate African economic recovery journey through collaboration and cooperation towards research that focuses on how to protect private investors, how to reinforce education, recover the health infrastructure, food security, and food markets, and how to develop, and protect markets to help our economies to recover from the current shocks,” Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u said. 

In the last two decades, African economies have weathered multiple negative global shocks and remained resilient even when these shocks hit hard the core of key macroeconomic indicators. However, the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the war in Ukraine and climate-related shocks have caused permanent damage that could take years to mend.

“We saw the covid-19 pandemic that hit the entire world, but Africa was affected differently from the rest of the world, and today the most relevant issue is the war in Ukraine that is affecting the whole world but quite different on how Africa is being tested and we need to figure out solutions in our own way on how to tackle these many shocks,” said Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Chair of the AERC Board.

On his part, Acting AERC Executive Director and Director of Training Professor Théophile T. Azomahou noted that the economic fundamentals of most African economies have not changed much in the last three decades. 

The meeting focused on how to avoid growing differences within African economies and the rest of the world as nations strive to recover from the shock of the pandemic and Ukraine war.

Beyond the support already deployed, there is an urgent need to find lasting solutions to finance Africa’s economies; Investment, domestic savings, government revenue and economic structure remain unchanged, while factors such as urbanization, population and unemployment are rising. 

The Biannual Plenary will be followed by the 58th conference next year where fully developed papers arising from the interactions with policy and decision makers will be presented to a wider community of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. The papers will be published as Working Paper Series of AERC as well as special issue of the Journal of African Economies in July 2023.


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