The Covid-19 pandemic, one of the world’s most significant events, has resulted in cessation of economic activities that will lead to a significant decline in GDP, unprecedented social disruption and the loss of millions of jobs. According to African Development Bank estimates, the contraction of the region’s economies will cost Sub-Saharan Africa between $35bn and $100bn due to an output drop and a steep fall in commodity prices, especially the crash of oil prices.

More fundamentally, the pandemic has brutally exposed the hollowness of African economies on two fronts: the fragility and weakness of Africa’s health and pharmaceutical sectors and the lack of industrial capabilities. The two are complementary. This is because Africa is almost completely dependent on imports for the supply of medicines...

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