The 7th PIDA Week takes place amidst the backdrop of continued global economic and social uncertainty occasioned by COVID 19 pandemic. The prolonged COVID 19 pandemic has had devastating multifaceted economic and social consequences that have disproportionately affected Africa on human development indicators, economic interdependence, growth and resilience patterns. In response, African Governments have prioritized their spending commitment mainly focusing on vaccinating their population and building resilience considering the pandemic, therefore increasing their recurrent expenditure. This could impact the annual gap in infrastructure investment in the short to medium term. The pandemic has also had a negative impact on cross-border trade. African Union has also been affected with member states were forced to shutting down borders and, in some cases, applying trade restrictions that have affected supply chains inbound and outbound within the regions and as a result recording trade deficit in volumes, exposing Africa’s over-dependence on external supply chains.
It is expected that once the pandemic is successfully contained, the focus will need to shift from crisis management to assisting to adequately invest in infrastructure for development, as well as preventing and mitigating the impact of future outbreaks.