Milken Institute launches hub to monitor African countries’ and international funding response to pandemic


News Release

Milken Institute launches hub to monitor African countries’ and international funding response to pandemic

Staci Warden
Staci Warden
Executive Director, Global Market Development
John Schellhase
John Schellhase
Director, Global Market Development

Marking 100 days of COVID-19 on the continent, the new hub tracks number of confirmed cases, testing progress, policy decisions, and the global response.

Washington, D.C. – May 27, 2020 – Decisive government leadership spared many African countries from the brunt of COVID-19, but dire health and economic risks remain. To track the latest developments, African policy responses, and the global effort to help, the Milken Institute has launched COVID-19 Africa Watch (

A project of the Institute’s Global Market Development Practice (GMD), COVID-19 Africa Watch serves as a comprehensive resource hub for African policymakers as well as the international development community across the globe to track policy decisions, fiscal responses, and international financial support for African countries. Through live data visualizations, the hub is also tracking the virus’ spread on the continent and the progress of testing and other efforts.

“With news about Africa scattered across a wide variety of sources, the Milken Institute's COVID-19 Africa Watch helps to fill a crucial gap, shedding light on how all 54 African countries are responding to the pandemic, curating trusted analysis, and monitoring both African policy responses and global relief efforts,” said Staci Warden, GMD executive director. 

As the coronavirus pandemic marks 100 days on the continent, and confirmed cases have surpassed 100,000, GMD researchers found:

  • Most African governments acted decisively. By the end of April, at least 31 African countries had declared national states of emergencies or public health disasters. According to the African Policy Monitor, 16 countries acted before they confirmed 10 COVID-19 cases in their countries.

  • The economic pains in Africa from the lock-downs will be drastic. The continent is headed for its first recession in 25 years due to the health impact, measures in place to stop the spread, and the larger global economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

  • Funding from the international community has reached near $40 billion. With the African Development Bank in the lead, African institutions have committed $13 billion in aid. And the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Union have approved more than $20 billion in new financing for African countries, according to the Global Response Funding Tracker.

"Combined with younger demographics, prior experience with health pandemics resulted in decisive government action early on, and this has kept the virus contained in many African countries. But risks remain as we await the economic fallout,” said John Schellhase, GMD associate director leading this project.

The Milken Institute COVID-19 Africa Watch is continuously updated to monitor the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 in Africa. Through AfricaWatch, the Milken Institute welcomes first-hand experiences from across the continent and input on new policy ideas and analysis and invites input from readers via this form.

About the Global Market Development Practice
The Milken Institute’s Global Market Development practice works to catalyze private-sector-led growth and economic prosperity in developing countries and emerging markets. The practice pursues this mission by facilitating informed and coordinated policymaking processes across government institutions, private-sector stakeholders, and civil society, and by training a generation of leaders in central banks, finance ministries, and securities regulators, among other financial institutions.

About the Milken Institute
The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that helps people build meaningful lives, in which they can experience health and well-being, pursue effective education and gainful employment, and access the resources required to create ever-expanding opportunities for themselves and their broader communities. For more information, visit

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Published May 27, 2020