The novel coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating global impact on public health and economies. The worst global recession since World War II and the effects of large-scale shutdowns of all non-essential businesses worldwide, cutting off international and regional supply chains and halting all non-essential travel, have also rippled across Africa. The International Monetary Fund is forecasting a 1.6% contraction in the continent’s GDP, and the outlook is expected to worsen when revised later in the year.
When Nigerian author and MacArthur Genius grantee Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie arrived in the United States for college in the 1990s, her roommate was surprised that she knew how to use a stove. People asked her where she had learned English, and her writing professor informed her that the African characters in her novel weren’t believable because they drove cars.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require closing an annual investment gap of $2 to 3 trillion, an order of magnitude greater than the development budgets of all the world’s donor countries combined. Attaining this level of scale will require harnessing the largest pools of capital in the world.