The African Export-Import Bank’s 2022 edition of the African Trade Report examines trade and economic developments in Africa and other parts of the world during 2020 and 2021, a period during which the global economy witnessed a synchronized global downturn triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Containment measures implemented to stem the spread of the virus, including lockdowns, social distancing, and border closures, led to widespread supply and demand shocks with dramatic consequences for global growth and trade. World trade decreased by 21 percent at the height of the pandemic downturn, between March and April 2020. Global GDP contracted by 3.1 percent—one of the sharpest contractions on record. The swift implementation of bold measures, including loose monetary policy and fiscal stimulus by governments especially from developed economies, contributed to recovery in the global economy. The effectiveness of these measures was bolstered by counter cyclical support from international and development finance institutions, in addition to the development of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.