Sub-Saharan Africa, home to over 1 billion people, has so far defied predictions of a devastating Covid-19 epidemic. Though the official number of infections is hugely undercounted, experts agree that the region's death toll is among the world's lowest, probably on account of the Continent's very young population. However, the economic impact of the collapse of world trade and of commodity prices, as well as restrictions on mobility has been severe, especially for the region's large oil exporters and tourism-dependent economies. Given the region's high population growth and widespread poverty, the human impact of the epidemic has few precedents. How are African nations reacting? Will they be able to cope with the medical and social emergency? Will the simmering epidemic in Africa eventually impair Europe's ability to control the virus? What is Europe doing to help, and what can it do more and better?
Chair: Uri Dadush, Non-Resident Fellow, Bruegel
Keynote: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, First Female President of Liberia & Nobel Peace Laureate
Koen Doens, Director-General, DG DEVCO
Hafez Ghanem, Vice president, World Bank
Trudi Makhaya, Advisor to the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO, Vodafone Ghana