COVID-19 pandemic bolsters case for technology-based economic resilience

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact globally, the African continent, while less affected, is preparing to undergo its own severe social and economic crisis. As of April 7, over 10,000 cases have been reported across 52 countries in Africa (less than 1% of cases globally).

Yet despite the slow onset, Africa’s fragile health systems will be overwhelmed if the virus continues to spread. To avoid this scenario, governments are implementing contingency measures with striking collateral damage in the form of shops and factories closing, workers being sent home, and jobs being cut, with the effect that an economic recession is looming.

In response, the African Development Bank has raised an exceptional $3 billion, three-year bond to help alleviate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of these funds will help finance access to health and other essential goods and services as well as the infrastructure needed to address the crisis and create favourable conditions for resilience.

The Bank believes that digital technologies can and will play a critical role in strengthening resilience by enabling fast responses to this crisis while helping alleviate its impact.

There are a number of specific use cases where digital technologies help create an enabling environment for human resilience during these difficult times.

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