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COVID-19 in Africa: socioeconomic impact, policy response and opportunities

Ozili, Peterson K (2020): COVID-19 in Africa: socioeconomic impact, policy response and opportunities.

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Abstract

The COVID-19 or 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. Finally, 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.

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