20th International Economic Forum on Africa

“Investing for a sustainable recovery in Africa”

22 February 2021, 11.00 – 15.00 CET  /  10.00 – 14.00 GMT

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speakers’ biography

10:00 – 10:40

Opening Session 

  Welcome remarks by: 

  • Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal

      - Read the discourse (in French)

  • Andry Rajoelina, President of the Republic of Madagascar
  • Victoire Tomégah-Dogbé, Prime Minister of Togo - Read the discourse (in French)
  • Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
  • Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Read the discourse
  • Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

10:40 – 12:15

Session 1: Accelerating productive transformation and regional integration to achieve Agenda 2063

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the urgency of accelerating productive transformation and continental integration to reduce Africa's extreme dependence on external markets and global supply chains. As Africa prepares to face the economic consequences of COVID-19 with relatively limited public revenues, the Forum is an opportunity to rethink the continent's options to build back from the crisis by keeping its focus on Agenda 2063. Ongoing digital transformation in Africa can be a powerful lever to accelerate both productive transformation and continental integration. How can we take full advantage of the digital momentum in Africa to accelerate the transition to modern food supply chains - that will in turn create more stable jobs? How can public and private stakeholders better bridge the spatial and social gaps in how the benefits of digital innovation are spread out today? What are the priority areas for accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)?


  • Mario Pezzini, Director OECD Development Centre and Special Advisor to Secretary-General on Development


  • Remarks by Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat

  • Arkebe Oqubay, Senior Minister and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia
  • Ibrahim A. Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, African Union Development Agency (AUDA/NEPAD)
  • Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Minister of Trade and Industry, Rwanda
  • Yoshifumi Okamura, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Japan to the OECD
  • ​Cristina Gallach Figueras, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean, Spain
  • Koen Doens, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission

12:15 – 13:45

Session 2: Rethinking financing for sustainable and inclusive growth in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the vulnerabilities of Africa's development models, in particular by undermining its main sources for financing. While national economic recovery plans are being fine-tuned, we observe a convergence of African governments on the need to prioritise food, health and pharmaceutical sovereignty. Other priorities include increasing investment in key sectors of the economy and and to keep small and medium-sized enterprises afloat. In addition, international supports such as debt rescheduling and debt reduction are highly desirable to enable African states to focus on the provision of essential services in the immediate term. How can government interventions stimulate national economies and ensure long-term debt sustainability? Which mechanisms based on peer monitoring to ensure more transparent debt management? How can African governments expand their fiscal space? What is the role ofAfrica's international partners and what should be the modalities of a new era of cooperation with the continent?



  • Cheikh Kanté, Minister of State, Special Envoy of the Republic of Senegal


  • Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director of the African Department, International Monetary Fund
  • Bongiwe Kunene, Managing Director, Banking Association South Africa
  • Jean Hervé Lorenzi, Honorary President, Cercle des économistes 
  • Rémy Rioux, Director-General, Agence Française de Développement
  • Thapelo Matsheka, Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Botswana
  • Tidjane Thiam, AU Special Envoy

13:45 – 14:00

Concluding remarks 

  • Manuel Escudero, Permanent Representative of Spain to the OECD and Chair of the OECD Development Centre Governing Board - Read the discourse
  • Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining, African Union Commission
  • Cheikh Kanté, Minister of State, Special Envoy of the Republic of Senegal