Governors of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund brainstormed on August 6, in the 2020 African Causus Meeting hosted in Yaounde through virtual format.
African governments and partner development organisations that are the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will henceforth be guided in efforts of tackling the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic by proposals made during the 2020 African Caucus Meeting of the Governors of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund chaired from Yaounde, Cameroon on August 6, 2020.
The meeting chaired by Cameroon’s Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey took place on the theme, « Protecting Africa’s Human Capital in the face of COVID-19 : Saving Lives, Preserving Well-being and Safeguarding Productivity and Jobs. »
Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute chaired the opening ceremony of the meeting on behalf of the President of the Republic, Paul Biya through the virtual format from the Star Building. Prime Minister Dion Ngute gave guiding principles that did not only help the Governors but that would subsequently enable the entire African continent face the consequences of the pandemic. «The crisis will undoubtedly lead us to review our economic models, fill the lapses in our health systems and rethink the place of human capital in the developmental process. It is now up to us to launch a strong, coherent and concerted response to curb the pandemic, » he said and further stated that, « In the face of a collective threat, we must form a common front and remain in solidarity for there is no common destiny without collective action. » On what African States need to do, Dion Ngute said, « We need to make our States more resilient to future external shocks and crisis. More than in the past, human capital must be at the centre of our development policies. » Therefore, African States have to give priority to strengthening health infrastructure and services to provide better care for the populations, strengthen and expand social protection and security systems, especially for vulnerable groups. He urged the WBG and IMF to take more sustained and ambitious actions in favour of Africa in terms of access to funding. This, he explained is because, «The crisis will have a significant impact on African economies. »
Effects of COVID-19
The Prime Minister stated statistics from the World Health Organisation that indicate that more than 18 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported and about 550,000 people have lost their lives. « The pandemic in addition to wiping out the efforts made in recent years for economic and social development, is likely to increase inequalities, plunge more people into poverty and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals is seriously compromised, » he added and said, the world economy is likely heading towards recession like the case in 1929.
Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey in his welcome statement while lauding the valuable support of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund to African countries to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, cited some of its economic consequences to include drop in economic growth, degradation of public finances, lost of jobs in the informal sector