Skip to Main Navigation

The Economic Impacts of COVID-19 and World Bank Support to Africa Roundtable

June 13, 2020



As the damages stemming from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continue to escalate in countries throughout the world, data show that African economies will not be spared. According to the 21st volume of Africa’s Pulse, the World Bank’s biannual analysis of the financial, macroeconomic and welfare outlooks for Sub-Saharan Africa, the pandemic has sparked the region’s first recession in 25 years, with economic growth projected to decline from 2 .4% in 2019 to between -2.1 to -5.1%.

With the looming economic downturn projected, it is important that all stakeholders, including civil society and youth, discuss ways to recognize their share of responsibility in minimizing the economic disruptions caused by this pandemic and safeguarding the economic milestones that have been achieved over the past 10 years.

About the Series

The World Bank Africa Region and the Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA) are partnering to organize regular roundtables on development topics. Their purpose is to allow dialogue among Africa’s youth, and prepare some youth-grown solutions to influence policymaking in Africa.

After the first roundtable—successfully held on April 18, 2020—on trusted information sources on COVID-19 for youth, this second roundtable will focus on the economic impact of COVID-19 in Africa and World Bank support to the countries. It will include the participation of civil society representatives to share their perspectives on the ongoing pandemic, and discuss some of the solutions for African countries.

  • Image

    Diarietou Gaye

    World Bank Director of Strategy and Operations for the Africa region

    Diariétou Gaye, a Senegalese national, is the World Bank Director of Strategy and Operations for the Africa region. In this position, Ms. Gaye supports the Vice President in setting strategy and work programs across all sectors for the World Bank’s Africa region. The Vice Presidency oversees a portfolio of more than 600 projects totaling more than $70 billion and comprises a workforce of over 700 staff working in Washington and 42 country offices. A passionate development professional, Ms. Gaye has over 22 years of experience working as an economist and a manager across different institutions, notably on development and policy change in challenging country contexts. Ms. Gaye joined the World Bank in 1996 as a Country Economist, after serving in the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Senegal. She has since held various positions.


    Maura Leary

    Acting Communications Manager for the World Bank’s Africa Region

    Maura K. Leary is the Acting Communications Manager for the World Bank’s Africa Region. Previously, she was the Communications Lead for the World Bank Group's Office of the Chief Executive Officer. Before that, she was the Communications Lead for the Poverty and Equity Global Practice, managing strategic communications and outreach on poverty reduction, equity, and inequality. worked as a partnerships and communications specialist on the Gender and Development team, and produced the short documentary film “Mind the Gap: Gender Equality and Trade in Africa” in 2013. Prior to joining the Bank in March 2011, she worked at George Washington University and Tufts University managing academic programs in the United States and France for high school, university, graduate, and adult students. She holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, and a B.A. in French from Connecticut College.


    Joshua Mawerere Ibanda

    Executive Director, Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA) Uganda

    Joshua Mawerere Ibanda is the Executive Director, Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA) Uganda and the Head of Marketing and Partnerships at the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda (ICGU). He is a consultant on the Youth Economic Empowerment programs with Habitat for Humanity, Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic development and Local Governments in Uganda. He represented Ugandan Youth in a number of forums; the YALDA International Bi – Annual Conferences (I – Boot camps), and facilitated trainings and conferences like the East African pioneer Conference in Kenya, National Leadership Conference in Tanzania, Haguraka (Stand Up) Youth Conference in Rwanda, the AIESEC International Congress in Sao Paulo Brazil, POWER THE NEXT EDUTECH Conference in Uganda, AIESEC International Presidents Meeting in Rome, Italy, the Corporate Governance Public Lecture in Uganda among others. He ran for Youth Member of Parliament to represent Eastern Uganda.


    Franklin Cudjoe

    Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education

    Franklin Cudjoe is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, a think tank of global repute dedicated to the promotion of the institutions of a free society across Africa. IMANI has been consistently ranked among the top 5 most influential think tanks in Sub-Saharan Africa and among the top 100 worldwide. In 2010, Franklin was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He was named a fellow of the Africa Leadership Network in 2012, and the only named Think Tank Leader in “Top 50 Africans” list of the respected Africa Report magazine in 2012. In 2010 Franklin was consulted by the U. K’s Prime Minister’s office on how to make effective use of British aid in Africa. He has hosted and shared panels with several Heads of State and Government. Franklin has made several appearances in both print and broadcast national and international media. He is a co-author of several publications dedicated to development topics, including The State of Education in Ghana. Franklin is pursuing doctoral studies at Buckingham University (UK). He is an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s Think Tank MBA program and the Montreal Economic Institute’s Think Tank Training Programme. He has a B.Sc. in Land Economy from KNUST.


    Jeremy Riro

    Strategy Consultant and Investment Advisor at Fie-Consult in Kenya

    Jeremy Riro is a Strategy Consultant and Investment Advisor at Fie-Consult in Kenya; where he offers management consulting services to clients in 8 countries across Africa. He is also the Founder & Innovation Lead at Fie_Labs Innovation Hub in Kisii, Kenya; where is involved in identifying, nurturing, showcasing and scaling innovations that solve social economic challenges within the local communities. Jeremy is a 2016 World Bank Blog4Dev Winner; and a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow. He is also the 2016 winner of Young Innovators in Agriculture Award by UN Women.


    Eliane Mbende


    Eliane Aurelie Mbende is a 22-year-old Cameroonian and currently a sixth-year dental student at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaoundé 1-Cameroon. In addition to increasing access to dental health services in Cameroon, she is a multiple award-winning writer and profound advocate for women, adolescent and vulnerable children’s rights. In her capacity as the second runner-up for 2016 Miss Teens United Nations-Cameroon, she promoted gender equality and sexual education in schools as a peer educator through the Gender, Sexuality, Society and Health Education (GSHE) project. She also serves as a community focal point for the project,” RESPEC-VIE CIPCRE/UNICEF Cameroon” aimed at Strengthening Child Protection and Promoting Life Skills among young people in the Yaoundé 2 district. Her main role involves identifying child victims of neglect and violence and connecting them to the integrated package of care services which includes: medical assistance, psychosocial support, legal and judicial assistance, school and family reintegration. She emerged as the 2020 World Bank Blog4Dev winner from Cameroon which focused on proposing solutions to end child marriage in Cameroon. She aspires to amplify the voices of women and children and improve access to sexual and reproductive health through advocacy and health education.

    • Welcome (Maura Leary, Acting Manager, Africa Region Communications)
    • The Economic impact of COVID-19 on Africa (short recorded video)
    • The World Bank’s response to COVID-19 (Diarietou Gaye, Director Strategy and Operations, World Bank, Africa Region)
    • Views from the youth
      • Jeremy Riro, Strategy Consultant and Investment Advisor, Blog4Dev 2016 winner (Kenya)
      • Eliane Mbende, Blog4Dev 2020 winner (Cameroon)  
    • Views from the CSO (Franklin Cudjoe, Founding President and CEO of IMANI Center for Policy and Education, Ghana).


  • Where: Online
  • When: Saturday, June 13, 2020
  • Time: 5pm (EAT); 4pm (CAT); 2pm (GMT); 10 am EST