30 December 2020 – After Covid-19 and in the new year, Africa needs to rebuild fast. It has to forge strong partnerships in this rebuilding process.
Africa needs to forge strong partnerships and effectively manage its abundant natural resources, to rebuild faster in the wake of Covid-19. According to Lazarus Chakwera, the president of Malawi, African leaders must be at their creative best to get the best partnership on offer. Chakwera spoke at the International Forum on African Leadership earlier this month. The forum was organized by the African Leadership magazine.
“African countries must strengthen governance and international partnerships, while also making better use of abundant natural resources to accelerate economic recovery in the post-Covid-19 period. We owe it to posterity to leverage the partnerships that we have and forge new ones to expedite the resurgence of our economies,” said Chakwera.
Africa needs creativity
“African leaders must be at their creative best to secure critical global partnerships and to drive the continent’s economic resurgence, and they need to build trust with their citizens, Chakwera added.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that poor governance damages public trust in government interventions. We cannot attract the world to our nations if our nations are in disarray,” he said.
Chakwera stressed the role of good governance in building resilient economies. “The public sector must be in top shape to prepare for and respond to crises and changes in the global climate before they occur. Such preparedness will put our countries in a stronger position to contribute to global response and global strategy, especially in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda.”
In his keynote address, African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina called for strong leadership, a shared sense of collective responsibility, the better harnessing of domestic resources and the transparent management of the continent’s vast natural wealth.
“The speed and quality of the economic recovery process from the pandemic will depend on our shared sense of collective responsibility and the financial capacity of developing countries to address immediate shocks, stabilise their economies, and invest in growing back,” Adesina said.
Tap into domestic resources
Moreover, tapping domestic sources of revenue will be essential to our economic recovery, he noted. “Africa must grow by mobilising domestic resources, especially by unlocking its more than
USD1- trillion in pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance funds to help close the annual infrastructure financing gap estimated at about USD64-billion to USD108-billion.”
Adesina also cited the need for transparent management of the continent’s immense natural wealth. “Africa will build back faster by also harnessing and better managing the revenue streams from its abundant natural resources, including minerals, metals, biodiversity, blue economy, forest resources, agriculture, and oil and gas, to boost domestic savings,” he said.
Lord Dolar Popat, a member of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, and the Prime Minister’s Envoy to Rwanda and Uganda, acknowledged the emergence of a new Africa, but urged further improvement in the continent’s investment climate to attract greater private sector investment.
“There is a huge room for growth and tremendous potential, especially considering Africa’s population. We must continue to take this momentum forward. I can confirm Africa as Britain’s continent of choice,” he said.