COVID-19 has turned 2020 into a year like no other, a year of historic con- sequence for Africa and the world. While our immediate future will inevi- tably be consumed with addressing the virus and its consequences--and ensuring that no African is left behind in the rollout of vaccines—we also can’t allow the virus to destroy the gains in growth, improved livelihoods, and unity we have made in recent decades. There must be a balance. It is with these contrasting themes in mind that we’ve organized the 2021 edition of Foresight Africa.
Beginning with the cover, we introduce design features that embody the narrative within. While recognizing the havoc it has wreaked, we see our shared response to the virus as a source of light, spreading hope and unleashing a new dawn on the African continent. We hope, in this edition, you will be inspired by the renewed solidarity among Africa’s leaders and by the region’s young entrepreneurs, who are succeeding in Africa against all odds. In addition to including prominent thought leaders from the re- gion, we’ve made particular effort to bring in new voices to inform the de- bate on alternative futures for Africa. Moreover, each chapter begins with a salient quote from an eminent woman, emphasizing the transformative leadership of women—in management roles, on the front lines of the pan- demic, and in everyday life. Thus, as we seek to maintain the hallmarks and traditions of Foresight Africa, we, like the world, cannot escape the virus, but Africa, alongside its global partners, can overcome it.
Although the virus was slow to arrive on Africa’s shores, the economic im- pacts of the disease were not, as the global economy halted and Africa’s growing, largely informal, service-based economy was forcibly shut down to pre-empt the disease’s spread. Until that point, the region was experiencing unprecedented growth and accounted for many of the world's fastest-grow- ing emerging market economies--though, that growth was, disappointingly, largely jobless and not necessarily in the most productive sectors. Thus, in Chapter 1, our authors offer strategies for how Africa’s policymakers can approach the pandemic as an opportunity for a “great reset” of their econ- omies so that they can grow back stronger than ever before.
You can read the full report here.