1:00 pm
2:30 pm

Transformational Risk Management: COVID-19 and its impact on Health, Livelihoods and Food Security

Mthuli Ncube, Vera Songwe, Ibrahim Mayaki, Stanley Okolo, Mohamed Beavogui
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Hosted by:
African Risk Capacity
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About the webinar
Session will address ways in which African governments can be better prepared, highlighting what role disaster risk financing mechanisms such as ARC can play in supporting government’s financial response to risks related to COVID-19.

The webinar session is being convened by the African Risk Capacity (ARC) to discuss challenges and opportunities associated with risk management and financing in the context of health outbreaks and food insecurity in Africa.

The emergence of the COVID 19 pandemic highlights existing gaps in health and emergency response systems and presents the opportunity to devise strategies to enhance African countries’ response capacities by. Specifically, in the context of Africa, the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic on individuals’ livelihoods in the context of food security are immense, and the webinar session will highlight these.

Having established these impacts, the discussants will then address ways in which African governments can be better prepared, highlighting what role disaster risk financing mechanisms such as ARC can play in supporting government’s financial response to health risks, and the roles that effective risk modelling can play in aiding government’s policies. The session will then present the positive opportunities that the pandemic presents for the African continent.

These objectives are summarised below:

  • To establish the effects of the global pandemic on food security and the livelihoods of Africans;
  • To highlight the role of risk management systems such as continental and country risk profiles and early warning systems for health and food insecurity;
  • To Interrogate opportunities for developing better financial response systems in Africa;
  • To discuss a concerted African strategy for better addressing food and health security risks.
Focus Region:
Middle East & North Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Nutrition / Food Systems
About the speakers

Mthuli Ncube

Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Zimbabwe

Hon. Prof. Mthuli Ncube is Minister of Finance and Economic Development in Zimbabwe where he is responsible for the stewardship of public finances and economic management, and also Governor for the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and African Development Bank. He is also a visiting Professor in African Studies at Saïd Business School.

Previously he was Professor of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford, former Vice President, and Chief Economist of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB,) and is ranked a top economic thinker on Africa and globally. He is also the HSBC Distinguished Professor of Banking and Finance at the Graduate School of Business Administration, University of the Witwatersrand, on a part-time basis.

Ncube holds a PhD in Economics (Mathematical Finance) from University of Cambridge, Selwyn College, UK, on ‘Pricing Options under Stochastic Volatility.’ Starting his career as a Lecturer in Finance at The London School of Economics, he has been the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce Law and Management, and also Dean and Professor of Finance at Wits Business School, all at University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, founding the Centre for Entrepreneurship.

He has extensive experience as an investment manager and investment banker, having worked at Investec Asset Management and Quantum Global Group. He served as Board member of the South African Financial Services Board (FSB), Chairman of the National Small Business Advisory Council, Chairman of the Board of African Economic Research Consortium(AERC) in Kenya, Board member of the Global Development Network (GDN), Board member of the Royal Africa Society and London, Board member of OMFIF, London.

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Vera Songwe

Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

On 13 April 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Vera Songwe of Cameroon as the next Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). She succeeds Carlos Lopes of Guinea-Bissau, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his commitment and dedicated service to the Organization.

Ms. Songwe brings to the position a long-standing track record of policy advice and results-oriented implementation in the region, coupled with a demonstrated strong and clear strategic vision for the continent.

Prior to her appointment, she was the International Finance Corporation’s Regional Director covering West and Central Africa since 2015, and non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute: Global Development and the Africa Growth Initiative since 2011, she was previously the World Bank’s Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania between 2012 and 2015. Before that, Ms. Songwe held the post of Adviser to the Managing Director of the World Bank for the Africa, Europe and Central Asia and South Asia Regions from 2008 to 2011, and Lead Country Sector Coordinator and Senior Economist for the Philippines from 2005 until 2008. She joined the World Bank as a Young Professional.

Born in 1968, Ms. Songwe earned a PhD in Mathematical Economics at the Centre for Operations Research and Econometrics, a Master of Arts in Law and Economics and a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies in Economic Sciences and Politics from the Université Catholique de Louvain, in Belgium, as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan in the United States. She is also a graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes College in Cameroon.

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Ibrahim Mayaki

Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency

Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki of the Republic of Niger is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency. He was appointed to the position in January 2009. A former Prime Minister of Niger, from 1997 to 2000, Dr. Mayaki has a Master’ degree from the National School of Public Administration (Enap), Quebec, Canada and a PhD in Administrative Sciences from the University of Paris I, France. He worked as a Professor of Public Administration in Niger and Venezuela. From 1996 to 1997 he was appointed Minister in charge of African Integration and Cooperation and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Niger. In August 2000, he set up the Analysis Centre for Public Policy in Senegal. From 2000 to 2004, Dr. Mayaki was a guest Professor at the University of Paris XI, where he lectured on international relations. He also led research at the Research Centre on Europe and the Contemporary World within that university. In 2004, he served as Executive Director of the Platform in support of Rural Development in West and Central Africa, the Rural Hub, based in Dakar, Senegal.

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Stanley Okolo

Director General of West African Health Organisation (WAHO)

Professor Stanley Okolo, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, is the Director General of West African Health Organisation (WAHO). He graduated from the University of Nigeria, had postgraduate medical training in Nigeria, United Kingdom and Canada, and spent the vast majority of his professional career in England before being nominated in March 2018 to head WAHO as one of Nigeria’s Statutory Appointees to the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS). An award winning leader, clinical academic and executive coach, Professor Okolo has had key regional and international leadership roles in healthcare, academic partnerships, and professional organisations. He has a PhD from the University of London, a professorship at University College London, and numerous scientific publications to his name.

Stanley believes that to improve population health, intervention programs in developing countries should address the wider issues of health and well-being as well as illness and disease. He is a strong advocate of using constructive disruption to achieve accelerated health improvement.

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Mohamed Beavogui

Director-General and United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, African Risk Capacity

Mr Mohamed Béavogui, an expert in Agricultural Finance, was elected as the first African General Manager of the African Risk Capacity in January 2015 during the 3rd annual Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In September 2015, he took over from interim Director-General, Dr. Richard Wilcox.

Mr Béavogui has over 25 years of international experience in development, and previous to his appointment with ARC was the Director of Partnerships and Resource Mobilization and Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

He joined IFAD in 2001 as Director of Programs for West and Central Africa and was responsible for delivering the lending and grant program, and managing a large portfolio of projects.

Prior to joining IFAD, he worked for 7 years with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in New York as a Senior Project Management Officer and subsequently as Regional Director for West and Central Africa. Earlier, he worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Burundi as Chief Technical Adviser and in Rome. Before this, Mr Béavogui worked in the African Regional Centre for Engineering Design and Manufacturing (ARCEDEM) in Nigeria, and for the Government of Guinea.

He is a member of several panels working on regional and global issues related to food security and rural development, and the recipient of several honours and awards.

Mr Béavogui holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from Saint Petersburg Polytechnic, a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from G.A Nasser University, and undertook Executive Management Training at Harvard Kennedy School.

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