Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (PANA) - Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A), a unique platform for African financial sector development research, advocacy, knowledge management and networking, hosted its 2020 Annual General Assembly (AGA) amidst a global pandemic that has disrupted markets and left the continent hurting.
The two-day virtual meeting themed ‘Financial Sector Development in the Era of COVID’ took place from 9 to10 December 2020.
As African governments continue to address the pandemic and economic fallout, there is a need to strengthen the financial sector's resilience to withstand such shocks and support the continent’s COVID-19 recovery process.
“Although the health crisis has not been as severe as it has been in other parts of the world, we have seen a disproportionate impact on our economies in Africa,” said Elsie Addo Awadzi, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana.
The pandemic has forced governments, central banks, and financial sector stakeholders to act quickly to mitigate the damage and provide safety nets by way of fiscal policy, loans and grants and other means, which provided relief to those most impacted.
MFW4A’s immediate priority is to understand the current challenges and identify opportunities to derive lessons for more effective and efficient financial sector interventions by governments, regulators and financial institutions in the wake of the global pandemic.
The 2020 AGA brought together about 20 industry experts who shared their experiences and thoughts.
Topics discussed included ‘Overcoming Trade Finance barriers for African SMEs’ and ‘Promoting a gender-sensitive economic recovery post-COVID’.
The discussions and dynamic audience engagement demonstrated the enthusiasm and commitment to the fundamental matter of how stakeholders must mobilise and collaborate to ensure financial sector development on the continent recovers and flourishes after the pandemic.
Abdelkader Benbrahim, Coordinator, MFW4A, said: “What the crisis has emphasised is the need for radical and profound change in the African financial sector to serve the real economy and the society better.”
-0- PANA AR 15Dec2020