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Africa Is More Resilient Than You Think

The short-term shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout will have a significant impact across Africa. But the continent has a newfound resilience and will come back stronger, especially if African governments seize the current opportunity for effective leadership.

WASHINGTON, DC – Despite apocalyptic predictions, Africa may be better positioned than many think to weather the combined shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, collapsing commodity prices, and global economic recession, assuming its leaders act wisely. While African economies’ performance has varied, overall progress during the last two decades has made the continent more resilient than ever before.

In my book Unlocking Africa’s Business Potential, I analyze the continent’s ongoing transformations and new economic opportunities. Applying that analysis today, six trends in particular will help to reduce the impact of the current crisis.

First, African economies are becoming increasingly competitive. Although the majority of African countries rank toward the bottom of the World Economic Forum’s 2019 Global Competitiveness Index 4.0, Mauritius, South Africa, Morocco, the Seychelles, Tunisia, Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Namibia, Kenya, and Rwanda are all in the top 100. In addition, improved macroeconomic policies have enabled countries such as Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana to achieve significant GDP growth rates in recent years.

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