Development Challenges in a Post-Pandemic Africa

15 September 2021

15:00 – 16:00 CEST

Today more than ever, Africa is taking centre stage in international politics. The Covid-19 crisis has partly disrupted ongoing social and economic processes: while huge challenges and obstacles to a full development process ought to be addressed — especially in the face of the first economic recession of the past 25 years —, growing opportunities in the continent are yet to be seized by international partners. The European Union is among them: in March 2020, the European Commission issued a draft new Strategy with Africa, highlighting the need to align bilateral initiatives between European and African state actors with a comprehensive continent-to-continent relation based on mutual recognition and reciprocal interests in the fields of trade, digitalisation, green economy, migration, and security.  

The “EU-Africa Initiative” is organized by ISPI and the Policy Center for the New South with the aim to analyze the challenges and opportunities of the EU-Africa relationship.

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  • 15:00 – 16:00 CEST – Development Challenges in a Post-Pandemic Africa

    Despite relatively low numbers of Covid-19 cases and victims in Africa – though the third wave has caused an uptick in the spread of the virus – the pandemic has had severe repercussions on the continent’s societies and economies. Extreme poverty levels rose, erasing progresses made over recent years, while negative (or stagnating) growth rates have both put pressure on African states over the sustainability of their debt obligations and undermined future prospects for development. Looking at a post-pandemic continent, African governments will need to secure financial support from international donors and partners to address development challenges: creating quality jobs, filling infrastructure gaps, stimulating intra-African trade as a way to strengthen competitiveness abroad are but a few of the policy strategies necessary to get Africa back on a development path over the next few years.

    What could be the role of European and other international partners in supporting those processes? How will the digital transformation impact African economies and societies? Is there room to promote a green and sustainable recovery?

    This is the first of three conferences of the “EU-Africa Initiative”, and will be organized also in collaboration with the OECD. 


    Federico Bonaglia

    Deputy Director of the Development Centre (DEV), OECD


    Karim El Aynaoui,

    Executive President, Policy Center for the New South


    Giuseppe Mistretta

    Principal Director for the Countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation -Italian Presidency G20


    Rose Ngugi

    Executive Director, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA)


    Elizabeth Sidiropoulos

    Chief Executive, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)

    South Africa

    Giovanni Carbone (Moderator)

    Head of the Africa Programme, ISPI and Professor, University of Milan



    The second event of the EU-Africa Initiative, “EU’s green deal and the Maghreb countries“, will be held in October. The third and final event, “EU-Africa Relations“, will be held in November.