Africa

Fred Swaniker on How Entrepreneurs Could Help Africa Emerge Stronger From the Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled much of the global economy, with potentially disastrous impacts for many African nations. But there are signs of hope, too. Fred Swaniker, a Ghanian entrepreneur and leadership expert, says that a generation of young entrepreneurs is already working across the continent to develop new and innovative enterprises in the face of hardship.

“If we reimagine how we live and do business on the continent, we can actually turn this into an opportunity and not a crisis,” Swaniker said during Tuesday’s TIME100 Talks.

While Swaniker recognizes that a global economic recession will make it harder for African countries to grow their economies and create jobs, he believes that the constraints posed by the virus “will drive innovation.” The shift toward online, remote work, for example, could open up new employment opportunities for some of the best-educated Africans, without them needing to leave the continent.

However, innovation

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A history of internet shutdowns in Africa and their impact on human rights

It’s broadly accepted that there’s a close relationship between development and access to information. One of the first economists to make the link was Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize in 1998 for his contributions to welfare economics.

Increasingly over the past two decades, the internet has been a major factor affecting the right to development. The United Nations definition of this right is that:

Every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development.

Today, all African countries have access to the internet, though the digital divide remains huge within and between countries.

In a recent research paper, one of us (Ilori), together with colleagues, examined the effect of network disruptions on human rights and democratic development in sub-Saharan Africa.

The paper concluded that internet shutdowns have impeded the right to development and posed threats to democratic

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