COVID-19 Africa Watch Interview Series

The COVID-19 Africa Watch Interview Series showcases the voices of African change agents, policymakers, and entrepreneurs, focusing on how the pandemic is affecting African countries and the priorities for the post-pandemic recovery.  Over the course of the last year, we have spoken to Dr. Vera Songwe, Lionel Zinsou, Strive Masiyiwa, Malado Kaba, Sir Paul Collier, Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali, Gayle Smith, Aya Chebbi, and many others.

To see all of our interviews, see the full archive below.

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks with Scott Morris, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, about the recent landmark report How China Lends, the first systematic analysis of the legal terms of China’s foreign lending.

Transcript and key takeaways >

Malado Kaba, former Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Guinea, speaks to COVID-19 Africa Watch about the potential for digital disruption in government and public service in the wake of the current pandemic. The interview is also available in French.

Transcript and key takeaways >

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali, former Finance Minister of Egypt and former chairman of the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee, about the economic impact of the pandemic, the policy response, SDRs, and more.

Transcript and key takeaways >

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Vivian Nwakah, Founder and CEO of Medsaf, about addressing the inefficiencies and inequalities in African healthcare systems.

Transcript and key takeaways >

All Interviews

Interview with Megan McDonald: COVID-19, African Capital Markets, and What Lies Ahead

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Megan McDonald of Standard Bank about the ongoing economic impacts of the pandemic, recent market developments, and the priorities for a robust recovery.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Interview: CBK Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge on Kenya’s Priorities for Economic Resilience and Sustainability

Dr. Patrick Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, speaks to COVID-19 Africa Watch about Kenya’s economic journey since the onset of the pandemic, the role government has played in mitigating the worst impacts on households and businesses, and the reasons for optimism when it comes to the path ahead.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

State Minister Yasmin Wohabrebbi: Ethiopia’s Prospects and Priorities for Economic Recovery

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to State Minister Yasmin Wohabrebbi about the policy response to the pandemic, the efforts to develop the digital economy, and the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Scott Morris: ‘How China Lends’ and the Implications for Africa’s Economic Recovery

“Better disclosure of the terms of the contracts themselves would certainly be better practice going forward, and in times of stress, it can facilitate quicker and easier engagement with the key multilateral actors.”

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Chinelo Anohu: What the Future Holds for Attracting Investment to Africa

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Senior Director of the Africa Investment Forum, Chinelo Anohu, about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the AIF’s approach and the overall investment landscape across the continent.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Dr. Dennis Carroll: How Can We Prevent the Next Pandemic?

“The viruses that we do know are only those that have already caused great harm, but we know that that’s less than 1 percent of all the viruses that have that same potential. Those viruses are currently circulating in wildlife today. The next pandemic, the next epidemic virus already exists.”

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Esther Krofah: Vaccines, Variants, and Lessons for the Next Pandemic

Esther Krofah, executive director of FasterCures, talks to COVID-19 Africa Watch about the public health lessons learned so far from the COVID-19 pandemic.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Gagan Gupta: Mobilizing Infrastructure and Supply Chains to Enhance Trade and Investment in Africa

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Gagan Gupta, co-founder of Arise IIP, Arise IS and Arise P&L, about COVID-19’s impacts on trade trends in Africa and the infrastructure priorities for accelerating the economic recovery.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Sir Paul Collier: Rethinking Roles and Responsibilities for Africa’s Economic Recovery

Oxford Professor, Sir Paul Collier, discusses the macroeconomic shocks suffered by African economies and the approach needed to accelerate the recovery.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Interview with Dr. Samira Asma: Using Data for Pandemic Preparedness and Response

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Dr. Samira Asma, WHO Assistant Director-General for Data, Analytics and Delivery for Impact about the importance of data in preparing for and responding to health crises.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Frank Aswani: Strengthening Africa’s Social Investment Ecosystem to Help Tackle COVID-19

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Dr. Frank Aswani about ways to bolster Africa’s social investment ecosystem to help the continent’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Interview: Yawa Hansen-Quao on Strengthening Public Service and Civil Society to Build Back Better

Yawa Hansen-Quao, Executive Director of Emerging Public Leaders, discusses the importance of strengthening Africa’s public service and of increasing intra-African collaboration for a stronger post-pandemic recovery.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Vivian Nwakah: Advancing Equitable Access to Safer Medication in Africa

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Vivian Nwakah, Founder and CEO of Medsaf, about addressing the inefficiencies and inequalities in African healthcare systems.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Managing COVID-19’s Impact on Africa’s Sovereign Debt: An Interview with Danny Leipziger

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Danny Leipziger, Professor of International Business at the George Washington University, about debt and debt relief amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Interview with Ladé Araba: Using Blended Finance to Tackle COVID-19 and Build Back Better

Ladé Araba, Managing Director for Africa at Convergence, talks to COVID-19 Africa Watch about blended finance’s potential role in building back after the pandemic, the core policy priorities, and her views on leadership.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Interview with Julie Gichuru: Building Community Resilience and Leveraging Storytelling to Tackle COVID-19

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Julie Gichuru about the Mastercard Foundation’s response to COVID-19 in Africa.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

COVID-19’s Impact on the Agri-Sharing Economy in Africa: An Interview with Hello Tractor’s Folu Okunade

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Folu Okunade, Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Operating Officer, Hello Tractor, about the pandemic’s impacts on small-scale farming and the burgeoning ‘agri-sharing’ economy in Africa.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Interview: Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali on COVID-19, Debt Sustainability, and Macroeconomic Policy in Africa

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Dr. Youssef Boutros-Ghali, former Finance Minister of Egypt and former chairman of the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee, about the economic impact of the pandemic, the policy response, SDRs, and more.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Interview with Gayle Smith: Building Global Leadership for an Inclusive COVID-19 Recovery

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Gayle Smith, President and CEO of the ONE Campaign, about the global response to COVID-19, inclusive access to an eventual vaccine, and the role of civil society in responding to the pandemic.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Precision Medicine and Entrepreneurship: Shaping the Future of Health in Africa?

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong, CEO of 54gene, about genomics research and precision medicine in Africa, as well as his company’s response to COVID-19.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Supporting Africa’s Small Businesses and Tackling Debt Sustainability during COVID-19: An Interview with Acha Leke

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to McKinsey’s Chairman for the Africa region, Acha Leke, about government responses to COVID-19, the support needed for SMEs, and debt sustainability.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Interview with Lionel Zinsou: Priorities for Private Sector Growth and Attracting Investment in a Post-Pandemic Africa

Lionel Zinsou, Founder and Managing Partner of SouthBridge and former Prime Minister of Benin talks to COVID-19 Africa Watch about opportunities for private sector growth and investment post-COVID-19.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals Despite the Pandemic: Interview with Professor Allam Ahmed

Prof. Allam Ahmed, founding President of the World Association for Sustainable Development, speaks to COVID-19 Africa Watch about financing the SDGs, human capital, and access to electricity.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

How is COVID-19 Affecting Food Security in West Africa? An Interview with Dr. Mabouba Diagne

Dr. Mabouba Diagne of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development talks to COVID-19 Africa Watch about the lessons of COVID-19 for improving food security in the West Africa region.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

Small-Scale Farming in the Face of COVID-19 in South Africa: An Interview with Mbali Nwoko

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Mbali Nwoko, CEO of Green Terrace, about how COVID-19 is impacting small-scale farming in South Africa.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch