Publication: COVID-19 and Trade in SSA: Impacts and Policy Response
Measures taken to curtail the spread of COVID-19 have led to a sharp contraction of the global economy and an even larger decline in trade, with significant implications on the livelihoods of people in Africa. Despite the relatively low number of cases, the region's economy would be hard hit due to its high reliance on trade, heavy dependence on commodities, a fragile food system, and limited fiscal capacity to respond. This reinforces the region's inherent vulnerabilities, posing risks of wiping out the gains made in poverty reduction. Countries that have been registering robust growth face rapid growth declines. The response calls for a regional and global coordination to scale up safety nets, facilitate flow of essential goods and ease the region's debt burden to free some fiscal space. There is a need for active policies to support enterprises so that disruptions are not permanent. As they chart their operations beyond the pandemic, countries should reexamine their industrial policies and firms need to rethink their strategies to address emerging uncertainties.
“Kassa, Woubet. 2020. COVID-19 and Trade in SSA; COVID-19 and Trade in SSA : Impacts and Policy Response. Africa Knowledge in Time Policy Brief;1(1). © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/33841 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”