The crash in oil and gas prices, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and the slump in economic activity, has dealt a blow to the plans and public finances of major oil- and gas-producing countries. But a group of countries in sub-Saharan Africa once designated as “prospective producers” are facing a different challenge.
As we graduate from Harvard amidst the pandemic, we reflect on the juxtaposition of our relative privilege with the systematic marginalization of the artisanal miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As we go into the real world, we have to recognize the contribution of their labour to our education and commit to improving their lives.
The campaign for a vaccine against the cororonavirus to be recognised as a global public good – patent-free, produced at scale and internationally available – is making headway. But progress is complicated by geopolitical rivalries between China and the United States as well as business interests.
Big oil-producing countries have faced a double-hit in recent months: the sudden drop in prices of oil and the economic impact of the global pandemic. In the case of Angola, which entered both crises with an already weakened economy, how are its prospects looking? The Africa Report speaks to Sergio Pugliese, the Executive President for the African Energy Chamber (AEC), to find out.
Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to ease restrictions when it lifted lockdown measures on 20 April. The country’s Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta argued the 21-day lockdown of Ghana’s biggest cities had become financially unbearable for most of the population, a concern that gave the government little choice but to lift the restriction.
The ravages caused by the coronavirus have equalised the playing field across the globe: not one country will come out of this untouched. But as states learn to live with this new reality, they must also create policies to minimise the economic impact this crisis will undoubtedly bring.