The vulnerability of Sub-Saharan African countries became even more clear during the pandemic and is attributed to several factors. They include fragility of health systems, low financing of testing and detection and low budgets for response measures. Therefore, there is a need for a global response to the pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. National and Regional partners should move swiftly to develop policy measures that incorporate actions against the pandemic.

The policy paper highlights the role and importance of the media and communication pipelines to obtain information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Among challenges directly linked to inadequate health systems, misinformation has led to disbelief and distrust in the existence of the disease. Communication should invariably be a two-way engagement between those responsible for making policies and all the people affected, including the diverse publics or communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to further accelerate integration across the African continent

The authors conclude by giving several policy recommendations. They see that COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to further accelerate integration across the African continent. This necessitates a speedy deepening of intra-African trade and faster execution of regional and continental trade agreements such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). For example, the pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of the food supply chains in Sub-Saharan Africa, and has highlighted the need to coordinate and monitor a regional plan for food supplies. Connections between businesses and market places should by improved, by lowering the costs of ICT systems. Moreover, agricultural inputs, such as quality seeds, land and training, should be provided to improve food security in the long run.

You can access the full paper here.

The Public Policy in Africa Initiative (PPAI) is an African think-tank. It was founded in 2020 by Hugue Nkoutchou, the PPAI’s vision is Powering the African Economy. PPAI started as a LinkedIn group, and evolved into a think tank. PPAI's mission is to promote evidence-informed policies, economic liberty, entrepreneurship, women empowerment, human rights, democracy, government integrity, effective and fair justice systems that help countries in Africa prosper in free, fair and sustainable economies. PPAI favours a circular vision whereby they take into consideration, in addition to the economy, the society and the environment. Economists and policy analysts are following the novel coronavirus pandemic closely, and PPAI is developing alternatives to existing policies which are capable of delivering growth needed to recover swiftly from the upcoming recession in Africa.