Why Innovation Will Be Key to Africa’s Post-COVID Rebuilding

Why Innovation Will Be Key to Africa’s Post-COVID Rebuilding
A woman walks by a market in Lagos, Nigeria, Dec. 31, 2020 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Most African countries have fared relatively well in their responses to the coronavirus pandemic, reporting rates of infection and mortality that are far below those seen across much of Europe and the Americas. Yet Africa is expected to take a huge economic hit from the pandemic and its associated containment measures, with the African Development Bank forecasting that an additional 50 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty across the continent.

Vaccination drives and economic relief packages will certainly be important to contain the damage. But according to author and researcher Efosa Ojomo, emerging-market nations should be aiming to build societies that are more resilient to economic shocks like the pandemic.

This week on Trend Lines, Ojomo joins WPR’s Elliot Waldman to discuss how the concept of “market-creating innovations” can foster broad-based solutions to poverty and other social problems in the wake of the pandemic. Ojomo is the head of the Global Prosperity research group at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, and a co-author of “The Prosperity Paradox: How innovation can lift nations out of poverty.” Click here to read a partial transcript of the interview.


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Trend Lines is edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

To send feedback or questions, email us at podcast@worldpoliticsreview.com.