Amjuae Leader and former Economy and Finance Minister of the Republic of Guinea, Malado Kaba has shared her experience of helping to lead the economic recovery in her country following the Ebola outbreak in 2014, drawing out the lessons that can be applied in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to a panel on the opportunities and challenges of investing in Eastern Africa, organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Ms. Kaba drew on her experience as the first woman economy and finance minister of the Republic of Guinea between 2016 and 2018, and expanded on the measures undertaken by the government to ward off the socio-economic impact of the Ebola outbreak.
The first lesson, Ms. Kaba pointed out, is to prepare for the post-crisis period while the crisis is still ongoing. An example of such an approach was the strict health measures undertaken by the Guinean government to protect the mining industry during the Ebola outbreak. As a result, the industry avoided new cases of Ebola, safeguarding its role as a pillar of the country’s economic strength and a major contributor to its post-crisis recovery.
The second lesson shared by Ms. Kaba was drawn from the macro-economic measures implemented by her ministry to limit the impact of the outbreak on economic growth. The ministry worked on a revision of non-tax revenues “by implementing close follow-up procedures, increasing transparency, and improving communication with key stakeholders. to double non-tax revenues for the period between 2015 and 2017.”
Other measures were also important including improving governance at the heart of different departments, and boosting the business climate to attract investors, leading to positive growth across the economy in 2016 and 2017.
The final lesson according to Ms. Kaba is gaining the confidence of development partners who, as a result, will be willing to provide much needed financial support.
Concluding her remarks to the panel, Ms. Kaba noted that the lessons learned should always be put into perspective given that each pandemic has unique and unprecedented global socio-economic repercussions.