News & Analysis: Mauritius

Pandemic spurs Africa’s mobile telcos to ramp up banking bid

“Africa’s mobile phone operators are ramping up plans to bring banking to millions of Africans, in some cases for the first time, after the coronavirus crisis caused a surge in use of digital financial services.”

via Reuters

Surveys show just how unprepared African countries were for COVID-19 lockdowns

“On average, only 24% of households across the 34 African countries analyzed met all three criteria of readiness: availability of key amenities, availability of media devices and phones. and ownership of savings accounts or rate of formal employment.”

via Quartz Africa

The Unfinished Agenda of Financing Africa’s COVID-19 Response

“The continent’s pandemic-response funding gap is likely to amount to some $100 billion annually over the next three years. The international community – especially the G7, the G20, and multilateral development banks – must take bold, innovative, and expeditious action to close it.”

via Project Syndicate

Mauritius’s timely response helped curb COVID-19

“Mauritius took just five weeks to bring down the coronavirus infections from a cluster of local cases to zero, becoming the first in Africa to contain the virus’s spread.”

via Anadulo Agency

The promise of digitising cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa during COVID-19 and beyond

“This year, the coronavirus pandemic has forced governments to grapple with difficult questions regarding lockdowns, contact tracing and the provision of emergency financial assistance to citizens now without work. In developing countries, these hardships are magnified with the World Bank estimating that remittances – money transfers sent from foreign workers to their home countries – to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent (from $554 billion in 2019 to $445 billion in 2020). Considering the significant role that remittances play in alleviating poverty and improving nutrition, many governments have turned to mobile cash transfers for vulnerable citizens to use while minimising COVID-19 exposure.”

via Africa Portal

Coronavirus: Which African airlines are taking off and when?

“After more than three months without flying, airline companies are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Since 25 June, Royal Air Maroc began operating a portion of its domestic flights (Agadir, Dakhla, Laâyoune and Oujda) from its Casablanca hub, followed by its other hubs, Marrakech and Tangier. The low-cost airline Air Arabia Maroc will also resume operations on the same date.”

via The Africa Report

Is Africa drowning in COVID-19 debt?

“Our analysis shows that the total debt repayments owed by African countries in 2018 were 1.4 times larger than the budgets that African countries have now put aside to address the effects of COVID19 (which, incidentally, have risen by US$9bn since our last estimate two weeks ago, to US$53bn in total now).”

via Development Reimagined

How Mauritius’ unique political culture helped it beat COVID-19

“In asking Mauritians to obey the measures, the government benefited from a long-standing culture that frequently calls on people to act in the interests of national unity.”

via African Arguments

Why the COVID Crisis Is Not Edtech’s Moment in Africa

“A new database published by the ‘EdTech Hub’ shows that though use of edtech products serving African countries has doubled in the last month, the total number of users is still very low, and most were viewers of one TV show. That, coupled with the fact that most firms come from just a few countries, suggests that edtech in Africa is far from maturity.”

via Center for Global Development

Informal traders: a balancing act of survival

“Since COVID-19, small-scale traders have started to aggregate their goods, and pay a bundle of fees to truck drivers for transportation and clearance. For this reason, prices of key staples such as rice, tomatoes and peppers, have jumped about 50% in local border towns in Ghana.”

via African Business Magazine