COVID-19 and African Economies

Global Implications and Actions Amid the Pandemic

May 08, 2020

SMITH BRAIN TRUST – With COVID-19 spreading rapidly across Africa, it’s clear the disease is now "the greatest global crisis of the century," Maryland Smith's Lemma W. Senbet says.

In a recent webinar, "COVID-19 and the African Economies," Senbet discussed the pandemic and its staggering economic fallout, along with high-level policy experts from the IMF and World Bank.

Taking part were Rabah Arezki, Middle East and North Africa chief economist for the World Bank, and Domenico Fanizza, executive board member of the International Monetary Fund. The webinar addressed the global implications of the coronavirus pandemic, and its economic impact on developing and low-income countries, with particular focus on African economies.

Senbet is the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business, and former Founding Director of Center for Financial Policy. While on an extended leave from the University of Maryland, Professor Senbet served as Executive Director/CEO of African Economic Research Consortium, from 2013 to 2018. The AERC is the largest and oldest economic research and training network in Africa. After the webinar, Senbet shared his insights and discussion takeaways with Tadias, the world's largest online magazine for the Ethiopian diaspora.

He explained the worldwide economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on the African continent, particularly Ethiopia. To read more about that discussion, read The Tadias Q&A With Prof. Lemma Senbet.



About the Expert(s)

Lemma W. Senbet

Lemma W. Senbet is the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance at the Smith School of the University of Maryland and the founding director of the school's Center for Financial Policy. He is also former Executive Director/CEO of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), the largest and oldest economic and research network in Africa, 2013-2020, and currently a member of the Distinguished Advisory Board of Brookings Africa Growth Initiative. Professor Senbet was Chair of the Finance Department, 1998-2006, and his tenure saw rapid transformation of the department into world class.

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