03 Sep 2020

CEO Keynote: Leadership and resiliency in times of crisis

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Leadership and resiliency in times of crisis


Development Partners International’s Runa Alam outlines how African governments, investors and businesses are stepping up to meet the challenges created by covid-19


The pandemic has upended everyday norms and expectations around the world. This includes Africa, where some external observers appear to have underestimated the continent’s ability to handle the crisis.

“The pandemic is bad for everyone globally,” says Runa Alam, chief executive officer and co-founding partner of pan-African investor Development Partners International. “But, based on negative assumptions about developing markets, there is a widespread misperception that if countries like the UK and US are struggling with this pandemic, then the situation in Africa must be dire. However, that is simply not the

case. So far, most African governments appear to be coping with the pandemic relatively well and the African populace and African businesses have shown resilience.

“That said, this pandemic is difficult for every population and government from a health and safety as well as an economic perspective. Certain countries like South Africa are now seeing worsening pandemic and economic conditions.” Yet, as Alam discusses, there are several reasons not to be overly pessimistic about Africa’s prospects.