Accelerating women’s leadership will be an important aspect of Africa’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, said Amujae Leader and former Economy and Finance Minister of Guinea, Malado Kaba.
Ms. Kaba recently appeared on an episode of the Africa Unconstrained video series, where she spoke about Africa’s route to recovery from the pandemic and its economic impacts. Acknowledging the relationship between the pandemic and the contraction of Africa’s GDP, she also pointed out that there was now an opportunity to build forward better—if debt is well managed and investment efforts are focused in the right areas.
In addition to improving Africa’s infrastructure through careful investments and partnerships, and the need to digitize the public sector to ensure that the private sector doesn’t have a monopoly on efficiency, Ms. Kaba highlighted the importance of increasing the number of women in leadership roles:
“We need to achieve gender parity in order to tap into the huge potential that we have in Africa with women. We need women in top jobs, both in the public and the private sector.”
Looking further into the future, Ms. Kaba noted that, with the 2.5 billion citizens—30-40% of whom will be young people—predicted to be living in Africa by 2050, the continent has huge potential if it can harness its growing population and invest strategically. However, this population expansion could also be a liability if policy makers fail to create the right economic environment in which they can thrive. In short, Ms. Kaba said, “It’s what we do with the money we borrow that matters.”