News & Analysis: Economic impact

Memo to Leaders: Three ‘no regret’ decisions for financing Africa’s post-COVID-19 future

To contain the economic damage of the pandemic and capitalize on the region’s underlying strengths, national and international leaders need to pursue urgent action.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

COVID-19 has hurt some more than others: South Africa needs policies that reflect this

“The unemployment rate in South Africa has been persistently high over time, hovering above 20% over the last decade. The official unemployment rate reached an all-time high of 30.8% during the third quarter of 2020.”

via The Conversation

Ethiopia’s social safety net effective in limiting COVID-19 impacts on rural food insecurity

“Over the past decade, rigorous evaluations have shown Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program yielding positive results in addressing household poverty and food insecurity in the low-income districts it targets.”

via IFPRI

Is Africa Wasting the Pandemic-Induced Economic Crisis?

“In many African countries, the economic response to the crisis so far appears to have been broadly less consistent than the health response. For mitigation measures to be stronger and more effective, and for sustained recovery to take place, governments, central banks, and regional institutions will need to make tough policy choices, promote coordinated and collaborative policy implementation, and embrace bold and innovative reforms.”

via Center for Global Development

COVID-19: Making the case for robust digital financial infrastructure

“We find that effective programs have three critical structural features of financial infrastructure: digital payment channels, the presence of a basic digital identification system with broad population coverage, and simple data on individuals and businesses that are tethered to the ID.”

via McKinsey Global Institute

‘COVID-19 has taught us to prioritise local production’ (Ghana)

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought devastating impacts on the economy and the health infrastructure, a key lesson the disease has taught is the need to prioritise local production and consumption, the Ashanti Region Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, has said.”

via BFT Online

Managing COVID-19’s Impact on Africa’s Sovereign Debt: An Interview with Danny Leipziger

COVID-19 Africa Watch talks to Danny Leipziger, Professor of International Business at the George Washington University, about debt and debt relief amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

via COVID-19 Africa Watch

A game changer for social protection? Six reflections on COVID-19 and the future of cash transfers

“The COVID-19 temporary cash transfers are helping; but they operate alongside preexisting structural gaps in social protection. Whether the pandemic can be a game changer for addressing such gaps may depend on how the crisis affects six factors inhibiting coverage pan out in different contexts.”

via World Bank

Zimbabwe: Lockdown amid COVID-19 surge has no support for people

“With most of Zimbabwe’s population employed in the informal sector, there are fears there could be widespread hunger as the government did not announce any plans to support citizens who will not be able to work during the lockdown.”

via The Africa Report

Paris Club of international creditors accept Kenya debt relief request

“The Paris Club of international creditors said on Monday it had accepted a request from Kenya for a debt-servicing suspension from January to the end of June.”

via Reuters