The global recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic will depend on the world coming together in a joint effort backed by science, finance and political decision, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina told the Victoria Forum 2020, ‘ a virtual event that addresses the long term. socio-economic consequences of COVID-19.
“How we get out of this pandemic, and the speed of our collective recovery, will depend on our shared collective global responsibility, to join hands in mobilizing scientific and financial resources backed by strong political will,” Adesina said during the opening plenary. said.
Hakima El Haite, president of Liberal International, a global federation of liberal and progressive political parties, joined Adesina for a panel discussion on Bridging Divides in the Wake of a Global Pandemic. and Elizabeth Dowdeswell, lieutenant governor of Ontario.
In the face of a global pandemic, it is more important than everyone in government, business, academia and civilian life supports their common values to bring about a way forward, said George Furey, Canadian senator and current speaker of the Senate said in the opening speech.
The forum aims to deepen understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic, social and environmental disparities in and across countries and communities. It is also looking for solutions to help the world ‘rebuild better, greener and more inclusively’, said Kevin Hall, president of the University of Victoria, Canada, co-host of the forum.
Dowdeswell noted the gender-specific consequences of the COVID-19 crisis and referred to the economic slowdown as a ‘shesession’. She emphasizes the importance of evidence-based decision-making and effective communication by leaders, noting ‘we are progressing fast with confidence’.
Adesina highlights a number of differences that have exposed the pandemic in Africa, referring to the divide between healthcare, a fiscal divide, a divide gap and a gap between work and labor. To illustrate his point, he noted that Africa had imported 70% to 80% of the pharmaceutical products even before the onset of COVID-19, a situation exacerbated by the pandemic.
However, Adesina emphasized the potential of Africa and said that the use of its natural resources and human capital underpinned the Bank’s strategy. “We need to mobilize the domestic resources we have – oil gas, minerals, agriculture and biodiversity, and the institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and all the mutual funds we have, totaling about $ 1.8 billion.”
Commenting on whether the approach to COVID-19 has obscured the fight against climate change, Dr El Haite said both challenges were intertwined. “Nobody is talking about the origin of the pandemic. We have to stick to the implementation of the Paris Agreement,” she said.
Adesina also emphasizes the need to respond to climate change. “By next year, 40% of the bank’s portfolio will be in climate change, and 52% of funding is in adjustment, because that is the challenge in Africa, rather than mitigating it.”
The Victoria Forum is holding discussions to address global challenges led by the Gustavson Business School of the University of Victoria in Canada. The founding forum was held in 2017.
The Victoria Forum 2020, put together by the Senate of Canada and the University of Victoria, consists of plenary and roundtable sessions on a range of pandemic-related topics. Sessions include bridging public and private investment for resilient economy and including recovery and moving beyond a sustainable and fairer future for local communities and the global community.
The Victoria Forum 2020 takes place 12-13 and 19 November.
Olufemi Terry | Department of Communications and External Relations Afrikaans Development Bank | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org