In this article co-written by Peter Munene, Sahil S.R Shah, and Rajab Hamisi, learn from the past how to respond to the next global pandemic.
As economies in Africa were gradually exposed and had to begin dealing with the current COVID-19 crisis, there were several responses introduced to counter the primary threat of the virus. Some of these ongoing interventions are focused on:
Reducing or containing the spread of the virus and ensuring that daily infections are on a declining trend (immediate and possible responses included banning of both incoming and outgoing international flights to countries).
Lockdown of cities for a period to ensure zero movement leads to better containment of infections.
Creating awareness to ensure that citizens are leading the fight from the ground.
Creating a delivery infrastructure for interventions which clearly links National, Regional, and local governments to reduce redundancies and improve on speed of implementation.
Strengthening health systems, including procurement of much needed medical supplies and leveraging of digital technologies
While there was a definite need to introduce the measures mentioned above, a residual impact of both the virus’s spread across the World and indeed the primary interventions required to contain its spread induced an economic shock. Economic output has been on a decline across the World due to the spread of the virus and the primary interventions to contain its spread are exacerbating the situation as a whole. Therefore, there must be a parallel and equally robust effort to think about and deploy economic interventions that seek to reduce the pressure on economies due to shock points arising from the current crisis.
While more experts have called for a “wait-and-see” approach on economic interventions by leaders and market partners, the inherent vulnerability of African economies means there is a pressing need to consider the mild but growing exposure to sectors as transactions reduce in number and overall output declines bringing the threat of a slowly grinding halt increasingly apparent.
Key points include:
- Economic interventions
- Considering a Recovery plan
- Short and long term outlooks
Read the full article, COVID-19: Balancing the Recovery Approach for an African Economy, on KenyanWallStreet.com.