ECA Media Invitation: A global debate on Africa's COVID-19 lockdown exit strategies


WHAT:          A global debate on Africa's COVID-19 lockdown exit strategies


WHEN:          Thursday, 7 May 2020


TIME:            11.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m. (GMT+3)


WHO:            United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) 


Register here


Dear Media Colleagues,


The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is pleased to invite you to attend a high level virtual debate on Africa's COVID-19 lockdown exit strategies on Thursday7 May 2020, at 11:30 am Addis Ababa time.

Governments across the world are now confronted with the major challenge of putting in place appropriate exit strategies to come out of COVID-19 lockdown measures. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that one full month of lockdown across Africa would cost the continent about 2.5% of its annual GDP (US$65 billion). In effort to limit the spread of the virus, at least 42 African countries implemented partial or full lockdowns. Several factors will undoubtedly affect each country’s exit strategy. Further, any exit strategy will need to balance the preservation of lives, whilst alleviating economic challenges and continuing to supress the spread of the virus. Some countries are beginning to announce their plans to exit and the debate around the benefit of lockdowns continues. 

This debate will centre on the policy choices, challenges and risks facing governments in identifying appropriate lockdown exit options. 

Speakers will include, amongst others:

  • H.E. Ms. Arancha Gonzalez, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Spain;
  • H.E. Mr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Republic of Rwanda;
  • Ms. Gayle Smith, President and CEO, ONE Campaign;
  • Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, African Union Development Agency;
  • Ms. Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of Economic Commission for Africa;
  • Mr. Haroon Bhorat, Professor of Economics and Director of the Development Policy Research, University of Cape Town, South Africa;
  • Mr. Moustapha Mellouk, Founder, Casablanca Media Partners.


The debate will be moderated by Mr. Amadou Mahtar Ba, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of AllAfrica Global Media Inc.


Click here for publications, presentations, and updates on ECA’s COVID-19 Response.


Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826