|Overview : |
As of mid-June 2020, over 250,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Africa, with close to 7,000 fatalities. African countries accounted for 3.1% of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally and 1.6% of COVID-related deaths worldwide. Five countries (South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon) account for over 60% of the reported cases across the continent. South Africa alone has reported almost four times the number of cases reported by the bottom 35 countries combined. Africa’s COVID recovery and fatalities compare favorably with global averages. Immediate (and preemptive) steps taken by some African governments to contain the virus could help explain the high recovery rates and relatively lower death rates.
However, the relatively low number of reported cases in Africa does not necessarily mean that Africa will escape the worst of COVID-19. The vast majority of African countries had no testing kits until early-March so there is no way of knowing much about the true scale and scope of the pandemic across the continent. Also, COVID-19 will be more of a socio-economic than an epidemiological challenge in Africa. GDP growth estimates are being revised downwards. The pandemic will impact African countries differently for a number of reasons, which include diverse development contexts, varied integration into the global economy, varied fragility, different income levels, and different levels of preparedness. Thus, there is no single African narrative, country-level specificity matters greatly.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa expects GDP growth rates to fall from 3.2% to 1.8% in 2020 Multi-scenario analysis by McKinsey forecasts Africa’s that GDP will drop by 3 to 8 percentage points in 2020; with a best-case scenario of 0.4% GDP growth and the worst cast contraction to -3.9%. In addition, Africa’s oil exporters are expected to lose $101 billion in 2020, while losses from tourism are expected to total $7.2 billion. At the same time, supply disruptions could lead to shortages and price hikes for food, pharmaceuticals, and fuel. African countries are expected to spend an additional $10.6 billion on health care. Remittance flows to the continent will also dwindle. Remittance flows are equivalent to 19.1% of GDP in Comoros, 15.3% in the Gambia, 14.7% in Lesotho, and 12.3% in Cape Verde. The anticipated precipitous drops in these inflows will have dire consequences. Overall, the socio-economic consequences of these economic shocks (including endemic unemployment, societal inequalities, worsening social services, horizontal inequality, gender discrimination, asset stripping, and increased marginalization) will have a debilitating impact on Africa, whether or not the virus ends up being as virulent as anticipated.
COVID-19 threatens to roll-back Africa’s recent socio-economic development gains and also jeopardizes the ability of African countries to achieve sustainable development goals (SGDs) and the AU Agenda 2063. Current macro-aggregate estimates do not adequately capture the extent to which the virus will affect lives and livelihoods across the continent. Nor do they capture the important ramifications for political governance and security. It is therefore important to assess the socio-economic impacts, perspective, and consequences in moving forward in addressing the multidimensional aspects of the crisis. A robust socio-economic analysis will elucidate opportunities and challenges, unpack the complexities, and inform effective policies and interventions moving forward. A socio-economic analysis will additionally help ensure that development partners, like UNDP, are the best position to provide effective and appropriate assistance.
Some context on the possible socio-economic impact of COVID-19
The outbreak has social and economic impacts that are multidimensional: direct and indirect effects. The economic dimension could range from its direct negative impact on agriculture, trade, small business, tourism, forestry, and mining activities with a substantial loss of income and employment; to indirect effects associated with domestic inflation and weakened fiscal position of governments through higher expenditures and reduced tax revenues.
Particularly affected will be persons employed within the informal sector, and particularly the women (i.e., own-account workers and their informal enterprises, employers and employees of informal enterprises, contributing family workers working in informal enterprises, members of informal producers’ cooperatives) and persons in informal employment outside the informal sector (i.e., employees in formal enterprises and paid domestic workers not covered by national labor legislation, social protection or entitlement to certain employment benefits such as paid annual or sick leave; contributing family workers working informal enterprises).
Most African governments have very limited capacity to cope with and counter the expected consequences of COVID-19. In a number of countries, the public health sector is also capital centric (i.e. orientated towards the treatment of non-communicable diseases that affect elites) as opposed to a focus on communicable diseases that affect its majority younger populations, and low levels of health expenditure evidenced by limited health facilities, supplies, and fewer doctors compared to other priorities. Moreover, most African countries have poor access to potable water and basic sanitation meaning that it is difficult to institute basic preventive measures such as regular washing of hands. Social protection systems are also generally weak, reflecting the overall governance structure and regulatory frameworks.
In order to better understand the nature, scope, and evolution of COVIDs socio-economic impacts in African countries, UNDPs RBA plans to commission a systematic household survey in selected countries. The survey will be administrated in 3-4 waves between July and October 2020.
Procurement Notice: e-Tendering event ID: ETH1661; https://etendering.partneragencies.org:
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ethiopia Country Office hereby invites you to submit your proposals (Technical and Financial proposals) to this Request for Proposal (RFP) for Firm-Level Consultancy Service to undertake a study on Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Socio-Economic in Africa.
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