By Violeta Gonzalez, Head of Partnerships, Outreach and Resource Mobilisation, Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF)
April is usually cashew marketing season across West Africa – a lively affair where traders tout bags of recently harvested raw nuts to buyers, most of whom have flown in from Vietnam and India. But 2020 was not a usual year. COVID-19 containment measures meant closures – of international borders, stopping major buyers travelling to West Africa – as well as domestic markets, leading to violent clashes between police and traders. It goes without saying that the impact of these border and market closures came at a great cost to the livelihoods of many West African cashew farmers, producers, and traders. Small businesses faced plummeting revenues or were at the brink of bankruptcy. Instead of offering support, local banks and financial institutions supporting West African cashew producers slashed lending during the pandemic.
Par Jean-Hervé Lorenzi, Président d’honneur du Cercle des économistes avec Théodore Gentil et Léa Konini, chargés de recherche au Cercle des économistes
En 2020, le PIB mondial a chuté de 4,4 % d’après la Banque mondiale. L’économie africaine n’a pas été épargnée par la crise. La crise du Covid s’est traduite par un effondrement des flux financiers vers l’Afrique. Les investissements directs à l’étranger vers le continent, qui avaient déjà chuté de 10,3 % pour s’établir à 45,4 milliards de dollars en 2019 selon la Conférence des Nations unies sur le commerce et le développement (CNUCED), ont chuté de près de 40 % et les flux de transferts des migrants de 25 % en 2020 (Banque européenne d’investissement). La pression fiscale dans la plupart des pays, qui varie autour de 17,2 %, est restée très faible malgré les réformes entreprises dans ce domaine.
By François Candelon, Senior Partner & Managing Director at BCG, and Global Director of the BCG Henderson Institute; Hind El Bedraoui, Ambassador at the BCG Henderson Institute; Hamid Maher, Partner and Managing Director
Africa has a unique opportunity to develop its competitiveness through artificial intelligence (AI). From agriculture and remote health to translating the 2,000-odd languages spoken across the continent, AI can help tackle the economic problems that Africa faces.
By Manuel A. Alculete Lopes de Araújo, PhD, Mayor of Quelimane City, Mozambique
Mozambique, one of the most vulnerable countries in Africa to natural disasters, has had to learn first-hand that the effects of climate change are determining factors in the country’s deteriorating poverty situation. As one of the hot spots for various types of natural disasters, mostly directly related to climate change, such as floods, droughts, and cyclones, the country’s development achieved over the years is periodically undermined. As a result, the country still ranks 180th out of 189 on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index. Mozambique’s coastal cities, which could potentially represent a vital driver for the country’s growth, are also particularly exposed to disasters. Tropical cyclones, for instance, occur regularly in the area. Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth hit Mozambique in 2019 at just a few weeks interval, causing enormous destruction and the loss of many lives. But in recent years, the port city of Quelimane decided to tackle climate change through local climate action, involving a broad constellation of public and private sector actors, with the goal of triggering long-term systemic transformation and paving the way for other cities.
Par Hakim Ben Hammouda, Universitaire et ancien Ministre de l’Économie et des Finances, Tunisie
La révolution tunisienne le 14 janvier 2011 a été à l’origine d’une grande espérance. Non seulement, elle a libéré la Tunisie d’un autoritarisme anachronique mais elle a aussi ouvert le système politique sur les principes de la modernité politique. Les nouveaux pouvoirs dans les pays des révolutions arabes et dans les autres pays se sont engagés à opérer de grandes réformes constitutionnelles afin d’instaurer le pluralisme politique et un système démocratique avec des élections ouvertes. Parallèlement aux changements politiques, la refonte des modèles de développement était au cœur des priorités post-révolutions et le rêve de construire de nouveaux modèles durables.
By Mona Ahmed, Junior Policy Analyst, OECD Development Centre
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected women and men differently depending on the sector they work in, their employment situation and their access to labour and social protection measures. Domestic and care work, traditionally female-dominated, form one of the most marginalised, undervalued and least protected employment sectors. It therefore comes as no surprise that the current crisis has not reinvented the wheel, but rather amplified persistent vulnerabilities faced by female migrant workers.
By Carlos Lopes, Professor at the University of Cape Town and former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
Africa’s most important priority is energy. Clean energy transitions will affect the African continent differently from industrialised regions, such as Europe. Diversifying the energy mix should not trump the need to reduce energy poverty. Energy transitions must meet socio-economic and affordability criteria as embodied in the ethos of the SDGs. But, what is less discussed is the potential for Africa to be a significant contributor to the global clean energy revolution. Beyond its interest to shift from low value extraction towards higher value beneficiation and industrial development, it is positioned to also enrich existing value chains with its abundant renewable resources.
For the African continent, the stakes are twofold. While Africa is the region of the globe that contributes the least to greenhouse gas emissions, it is the first to be impacted by climate change. Africa has low adaptive capacity and is highly vulnerable to climate variability and natural disasters such as droughts, floods and rising sea-levels, especially affecting low-lying coastal areas. Africa’s food and agriculture sectors are among the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, which are also exacerbating the lack of access to safe water, water stress and health risks, especially malaria, in the region.
By Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)
This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause major disruptions to societies and economies around the world, and has dealt a worrying blow to years of hard-won progress in reducing the number of people in Africa who lack access to electricity. For seven years in a row, the number of Africans living without electricity has steadily decreased, thanks to efforts from governments, businesses and civil society. But this year, it is set to rise by 13 million amid the turmoil brought by the pandemic, according to IEA analysis. The worst effects are being felt in countries such as Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger. By putting energy services out of reach of more and more people, the crisis threatens to deepen their difficulties and those of economies across Africa.