News & Analysis: Economic impact

COVID-19 in Africa: Youth at the Fore

“Young volunteers leading COVID-19 campaigns are connecting with and engaging local leaders—women’s groups, teachers, priests, imams, village heads, healers, and elders—in their communities. Together they are devising microsolutions needed to isolate patients, care for the ill, implement social distancing within existing conditions, and support families in distress.”

via African Arguments

Cameroon signs 3-year XAF413 bln framework agreement with the ITFC

“ITFC (a subsidiary of the Islamic Development Bank -IsDB) will provide $250 million (about XAF138 billion) to Cameroon every year for the acquisition of medical equipment and consumables as well as the importation of commodities in strategic sectors like mining and energy.”

via Business in Cameroon

Sovereign Debt: A Critical Challenge

“Today, the earlier fear of a dangerous lack of liquidity has been replaced in large part by concerns about the ability of the international financial architecture to support countries with increasing levels of debt and uncertain access to capital. One worrisome aspect seems clear: Many countries will require debt relief in the next few years if they are to maintain or restore access to financial flows. Higher interest rates in advanced economies, and the United States in particular, could compound the difficulties of emerging market countries in servicing existing debt and refinancing maturing debt.”

via Bretton Woods Committee

African nations expect $33.6B in Special Drawing Rights

“African nations expect to receive $33.6 billion from a new issuance of Special Drawing Rights, according to Vera Songwe, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. On Wednesday, G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors reaffirmed calls for the International Monetary Fund to make a proposal for a new allocation of $650 billion in SDRs — an international reserve asset — that will provide countries around the world with liquidity. The last SDR allocation was issued in 2009 following the global financial crisis.”

via Devex

Nigeria Bets on Solar to Power its COVID-19 Recovery

“With Solar Power Naija, the government is aiming to fix the development problems that a lack of access to electricity has created, as well as the pollution that fuel-powered generators, one of the most popular power sources, cause.”

via Bloomberg

Hustle at the Border for Zimbabwean Traders

On top of missed income opportunities caused by the freeze of productive activities, many women traders in Zimbabwe suffered economic losses from goods that have remained unsold and, in many cases, gone to waste because of their perishable nature.

via COVID HQ Africa

Yellen warns that slow vaccine rollout in poor countries poses threat to U.S., global economies

“Yellen called on richer countries to step up both economic and public health assistance to poorer nations reeling from COVID-19. She noted as many as 150 million people across the world risk falling into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis.”

via Washington Post

IMF Approves KSh 257 Billion Financing Package Loan to Kenya

“Kenya’s debt remains sustainable, although it is at high risk of debt distress, according to the IMF.”

via Tuko

Rural COVID, Urban COVID: Africa Sees Sharp Divide

“Africa’s megacities will bear deep scars from this coronavirus pandemic. But 59% of the continent’s population lives in rural areas… and large-scale lockdowns have effectively sealed off these rural areas — for better and for worse, residents say.”

via VOA News

Towards shock-responsive social protection: Lessons from the COVID-19 response in Uganda

“Aside from an initial food distribution programme, the GoU had limited ability to respond to the negative economic impacts of the shock using existing social protection programmes in 2020. In fact, in the first three months of the pandemic (March–June 2020), the Senior Citizen’s Grant (SCG) was forced to pause operations while Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were developed to facilitate safe cash disbursements, which meant that even existing programme beneficiaries did not receive their normal transfers during this period.”

via Maintains