Arkebe Oqubay on the economic implications of COVID-19 crisis for developing countries

WIDER Webinar Series

Arkebe Oqubay on the economic implications of COVID-19 crisis for developing countries

Arkebe Oqubay will join the WIDER webinar to share insights from his recent research work to discuss the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for developing and emerging economies. He will be presenting the lessons learned and suggestions for policy changes. Tony Addison will follow as discussant.

COVID-19 crisis and implications for the economic development of developing countries

COVID-19 pandemic has brought on an unprecedented global crisis resulting in not only a public health emergency but also an economic recession, which has deepened existing economic disparity by destroying the recently made gains in developing and emerging countries. Multiple forecasts - often conflicting- have been presented by many organizations during the pandemic. Nonetheless, it is crucial to focus on productive discourse to understand the long-term effects, trajectory and policy implications.

COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of the economies of developing countries, showing the low degree of economic transformation and highlighting the necessity of implementing policies that accelerate economic diversification and build industrial capacity in a changing landscape. However, such deep crisis offers opportunities for developing and emerging economies. This presentation focuses on the implications of COVID-19 in developing and emerging economies, the lessons learned and policy recommendations.

This analysis draws from extensive research as presented in the recent publications namely African Economic Development: Evidence, Theory, Policy (Oxford University Press), The Oxford Handbook of Industrial Hubs and Economic Development  and The Oxford Handbook of Industrial Policy (2020). Political and policy choices will shape the post-COVID-19 economic recovery and long-term structural transformation. Multilateralism and well-functioning international governance will be essential to build collaboration for global economic recovery and against global threats such as pandemia and climate change.

Tony Addison will join as discussant. He will comment on Arkebe Oqubay's presentation and share some thoughts on the longer-run implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for international development.

The event will be chaired by UNU-WIDER Senior Research Fellow Rachel Gisselquist.

About the speakers

Dr Arkebe Oqubay Metiku is a Senior Minister and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and a UNU-WIDER Honorary Research Fellow. He has been at the centre of policymaking and government leadership for over 30 years. Dr Arkebe is currently a candidate for the post of Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

He has also served as chair and vice-chair on the boards of several leading public corporations, including Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation, and the Ethiopian Railway Corporation. He was the founding chancellor of Addis Ababa Science and Technology University. He is the former mayor of Addis Ababa, and won the ABN Best African Mayor of 2006 Award. He was a finalist in the World Mayor Award 2006.

Dr Arkebe is Professor of Practice at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa), a Visiting Professor at Sciences Po (Paris) and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Fudan University (Shanghai). He is a UNU-WIDER Honorary Research Fellow, a Distinguished Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and a Research Associate at the Centre of African Studies in the University of London. He is the founder and chair of Policy Research Dialogue for Africa. He holds a PhD in development studies from SOAS, University of London.

He has published several books on the economic development of low and middle income countries, and has been awarded by the NewAfrican as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2016 and a “leading thinker on Africa’s strategic development”.

Tony Addison is a Professor of Economics in the University of Copenhagen’s Development Economics Research Group (DERG) and a UNU-WIDER Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow. He was previously the Chief Economist/Deputy Director of UNU-WIDER.

He has worked as a Professor of Development Studies at the Manchester University (UK), as Executive Director of the Brooks World Poverty Institute, Manchester University, and has held faculty positions at the University of Warwick (UK) and SOAS, London University. See his publications on economic policy and development here.

His latest book is Extractive Industries: The Management of Resources as a Driver of Sustainable Development (Oxford University Press, Open Access). He is currently working on the outlook for the extractive industries in the light of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.