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‘COVID-19, wake-up command to address Africa’s challenges’

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the challenges and opportunities of Africa’s development landscape, a former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has said. Speaking at a lecture organised by the African Development Bank’s (AfDB African Development Institute) in Abidjan, he said: “We have the same problems but what we also have is vastly increased urgency… not so much a wake-up call but a wake-up command.”

 

The former UK prime minister addressed a virtual audience on the topic, “ Building Back Better in Post COVID-19 Africa: The Role of Technology and Governance”, as part of the Kofi A. Annan Lecture Series.

 

The series, launched by the) African Development Institute in 2006, has covered a range of African and global development topics, including economics, finance, regional integration, human development and the environment.

 

The lectures have been a forum for eminent persons to share policy insights on development challenges in Africa. Over 4,500 delegates from across the globe including Government Officials, Governors and Executive Directors of the BankGroup, theBank’sSenior Management, and leading experts and heads of institutions tuned in to the lecture.

 

In opening remarks, Rabah Arezki, Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management of the bank described the task ahead as “vast and challenging.”

 

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