COVID-19 in Africa: Socio-economic Impact, Policy Response and Opportunities
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, May 2020
33 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2020 Last revised: 26 Oct 2020
Date Written: 2020
This study analyses the COVID-19 situation in Africa and discuss the socioeconomic impact, policy response and opportunities. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic which has affected the global economy has also affected the African economy through spillovers to African countries. Many African countries have taken bold quarantine and lockdown measures to control the spread of COVID-19 although this has come at a cost such as the collapse of health systems and a painful economic crisis or recession. A coordinated and bold response by African authorities is needed. First, public funds should be provided to improve the capacity of health systems in African countries. Second, financial support should be provided to individuals, entrepreneurs and corporations to help them cope with the adverse effect of the coronavirus crisis. Third, employers should be granted incentives to preserve employment during the crisis to avoid mass layoff of workers. Four, the Central bank in African countries should provide liquidity and credit support as well as asset purchase programs to prevent credit and liquidity crunch in domestic financial markets. Finally, social authorities in African countries should ensure that people in small communities have access to effective communication systems to enhance remote social interaction between community members, family and friends during the crisis.
Keywords: Africa, COVID-19, Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, outbreak, pandemic, social policy, economic crisis, financial crisis, global recession, public health, spillovers, monetary policy, fiscal policy, liquidity provision, Central banks, socioeconomic impact
JEL Classification: G21, G28, I11, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation