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Can Trade Shape Africa's Post-COVID Recovery?

Hosted by LSE Festival: How Do We Get to a Post-COVID World?

Online public event


Richard Kozul-Wright

Richard Kozul-Wright

Teniola Tayo



Professor David Luke

The pandemic’s impact on global trade has significantly harmed Africa’s economies and development. Could historic changes to the way African trade operates drive its recovery? 

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa have been severe, with formal and informal sectors affected by lockdowns, decreasing exports, disruptions to global supply chains, mounting debt and increasing levels of poverty. Fiscal responses have been unable to weather dramatic shifts in business and economic activity worldwide, with major challenges for local populations seeking employment and food security.  

With historic changes within the continent to the way trade is being conducted, a crucial part of Africa’s economic recovery from COVID-19 therefore hangs on what happens in this area. Will the much-hyped African Continental Free Trade Area really transform the continent’s economic prospects, or does an economic recovery depend on external actors? With a small percentage of Africa receiving vaccines to COVID-19, how can trade work to counter the challenges of supply?  

Meet our speakers and chair  

Richard Kozul-Wright is Director of the Globalisation and Development Strategies Division in United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He has worked at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Cambridge UK and has published widely on economic issues including, inter alia, in the Economic Journal, the Cambridge Journal of EconomicsThe Journal of Development Studies, and the Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Teniola Tayo is a researcher with the Institute for Security Studies in Dakar. Her research interests focus on security, trade and development. She has previously worked with think tanks across West Africa and with the Nigerian government. She is an alumna of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and is a Fellow with the LSE Programme for African Leadership. She is also a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. 

David Luke (@DavidLukeTrade) is Professor in Practice and Strategic Director at the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa, LSE. Specialising in African trade policy and trade negotiations, Professor Luke has decades of experience from a career spanning a tenured appointment at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and assignments at the African Union, the UN Development Programme and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). At the ECA’s African Trade Policy Centre, Professor Luke and his team were instrumental in the preparation of the protocols that make up the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.  

More about this event  

This event is part of the LSE Festival: How Do We Get to a Post-COVID World? running from Monday 13 to Saturday 18 June 2022, with a series of events exploring the practical steps we could be taking to shape a better world.

The Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa at LSE (@AfricaAtLSE) promotes independent academic research and teaching; open and issue-oriented debate; and evidence-based policy making. The Institute connects social sciences disciplines and works in partnership with Africa to bring African voices to global debates.

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Can Trade Shape Africa's Post-COVID Recovery?

A video of this event is available to watch at Can Trade Shape Africa's Post-COVID Recovery?

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event. 

This event will be streamed live on Facebook


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