03.08.2020

Do the economic consequences of Covid-19 advance or hinder the structural transformation in Africa?

The outbreak of COVID-19 halted daily economic activity in a way not seen before. As things stand, many companies are struggling to survive and this has resulted in the laying off and in some cases the retrenchment of workers in various sectors across the land.

Image source: African Economic Outlook 2016

Since its outbreak about six months ago, Covid-19 has emerged as one of the most consequential health emergencies of our time. It is a pressing health threat that is burdening health systems across the world, while also taking people’s lives within a short period of infection. As a developing continent with inadequate healthcare facilities, Africa has already been struggling to cope with current diseases like Tuberculosis, Diabetes and HIV/AIDS. The advent of Covid-19 has compounded the problem as health facilities often struggle to not only accommodate patients infected with the coronavirus, but also to do enough testing and provide enough PPEs to healthcare workers. 

Although Covid-19 is mainly a medical condition which should be understood from a health perspective, it is also important to look at its impact beyond epidemiology and biostatistics. While primarily focused on curbing the spread, and saving lives, the impact of the deadly coronavirus has unsurprisingly extended beyond the health sector, negatively impacting economies, especially in Africa.

The outbreak of COVID-19 halted daily economic activity in a way not seen before. As things stand, many companies are struggling to survive and this has resulted in the laying off and in some cases the retrenchment of workers in various sectors across the land. This on its own poses a great threat to transformation as it means that the very same people who are probably at the bottom of the ‘income strata’ are without an income during and possibly post this pandemic. Click here to read full report. 

(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the organization, FES South Africa.)

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung 
South Africa Office

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info(at)fes-southafrica.org

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