Video On Demand

Online Event: Impossible Choices: The Conundrum Facing African Governments in a Global Pandemic

November 18, 2020 • 10:00 – 11:00 am EST

The CSIS Africa Program and the ONE Campaign invite you to an event exploring challenges faced by African governments during the Covid-19 pandemic. Through a simulated experience, panelists will navigate key issues in a fictional scenario, with reality reflected in presented policy choices. As an audience member, you have the opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of African finance ministers and the choices they face by voting live on decisions. A voting link will be available at the bottom of this page closer to the event date.

Nearly one year since the start of the pandemic, many developed countries have rolled out unprecedented stimulus packages to help mitigate the financial toll of the crisis. From contributing to salaries through various Covid-19 job retention programs to providing loans, tax relief, and cash grants to small businesses, many governments have pulled out all the stops to support their citizens and protect their economies. But unlike developed countries, African governments do not have financial reserves and liquidity readily available to keep their economies afloat and tackle the crisis. While facing substantial budget shortfalls due to the dramatic drop in commodity prices, market disruptions, the collapse of tourism—as well as falling remittances and flight of foreign capital—many are also struggling to navigate the growing debt crisis. They are facing difficult choices between fulfilling their legal obligations on upcoming debt repayments or using that money to tackle the impact of Covid-19. 

What are some of the challenges and difficult choices facing African governments on a daily basis? While some steps have been taken by international creditors to support the world's poorest countries, progress remains slow. What more is needed, and what are the biggest challenges?

Join ONE and CSIS as we explore these key issues.

This event is made possible through CSIS general support. 


Event Partners


Judd Devermont

Rima le Coguic
Director of the Africa Department, Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
Kader Hassane

Kader Hassane

Senior Director, Africa50 Infrastructure Fund

Diene Keita

Deputy Executive Director, Programme United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)