Covid-19 Impacts On Economy and Education

The CORONAVIRUS pandemic, also known as the covid-19 pandemic, is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January 2020 and a pandemic in March 2020.

As of 1 February 2021, more than 102 million cases have been confirmed, with more than 2.22 million deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Impact on Africa economy


With the key measures adopted by most countries to curtail the
spread include the closing of their frontiers and partial or complete lockdowns of
economies which among other things, have seen the temporary closure of businesses,
schools and social services.

However, these measures have generated significant setbacks for African economies
mainly in terms of lost productivity and trade both within and among countries.


Specifically, these measures have significantly strained almost all key growth enhancing
sectors of many economies, and ultimately, on their overall income. Consequently,
different institutions have put forward estimates of the anticipated economic losses that could follow the introduction of these measures. For example, the International Air
Transport Association (IATA) projected revenue losses of up to US$113 billion1 and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimated at least US$65
billion in revenue losses among Africa’s top 10 fuel exporting economies2.


Moreover, due to COVID-19 disruptions in global value chains among other things, the World Trade Organization (WTO) projected a decline in world trade of between 13% and 32% in Overall, an unprecedented global recession is being envisaged with a world GDP
slump ranging between 0.5% and 3.8 %.4 while the regional and country specific impacts could be similar in Europe and Asia depending on which sectors were severely hit, due to the continents lack of economic resilience and diversification, Africa faces greater risks of seriously negative impacts  from COVID-19 for several reasons.

First, being the last region to register COVID-19 cases, Africa was already experiencing the consequences mainly through its trade links
with the European union (EU), United States of America (USA) and China, resulting in dwindling markets for African exports.


Second, while the infection rates in these regions have started to flatten out with economic stimulus and investment recovery plans underway, the opposite holds for Africa.


The number of new cases in Africa have yet to
reach the inflection point while elsewhere including China and Europe, the reported
cases are tapering off. Although the rest of the world is slowly reopening businesses to
emerge from the global slowdown, the trend in African economies entails the possibility
of a deeper recession as they are likely to face further production and trade related constraints if the rate of infection continues to rise.


This paper’s macroeconometric model assessing the possible effects of COVID-19 on
African economies generates conservative estimates based on global scenarios.
Therefore, the estimates should not be taken as final projections because of its focus on
the global shocks that affect trade between Africa and the rest of the world.

All other direct impacts of COVID-19 on Africa’s productivity and government expenditure are held constant. Moreover, the analysis does not consider domestic and multilateral measures being put in place to ease the impact of COVID-19 on the respective African countries.


While the threat of potential recession in Africa is vivid mainly through the international
trade links, very few countries have the capacity to implement stimulus packages to
cushion their economies form such an impending COVID-19 global recession. Efforts in this regard are recorded in literature (see Ozili and Arun, 2020) and the press mainly for
Africa’s big economies but most importantly, these do cover all the countries that have
been badly hit by the infections.


Most of the adopted measures include cutting interest rates and the provision of liquidity assistance to cushion households and firms.

For countries with better fiscal policy space, they have also increased their social protection
expenditure to effectively cushion the poorest households during the lockdowns. For
example, South Africa has set aside about US$ 160 million to cushion vulnerable
businesses, about US$ 8.4 billion for the unemployment insurance fund, tax subsidies
for at least 75,000 small and medium enterprises with a turnover of less than US$2.7 million, among other relevant fiscal and monetary policies6 Senegal has established a Euro 2.1 million response and solidarity fund “Force COVID-19” as well as a Euro 97.6million contingency plan to cushion herself from the impacts of COVID-19.7


Furthermore, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco are set to inject US$6.4 billion, US$0.9 billion and US$ 1 billion respectively into their economies as part of their economic stimulus packages for
enhancing liquidity during COVID-19.8 In addition to the above stimulus packages, Table 1 below summarizes specific key
monetary and fiscal stimulus packages that have been adopted by some african countries to aid their economy.


Education

Between April and August 2020, Human Rights Watch conducted 57 remote interviews with students, parents, teachers, and education officials across Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia to learn about the effects of the pandemic on children’s education.


Our research shows that school closures caused by the pandemic exacerbated previously existing inequalities, and that children who were already most at risk of being excluded from a quality education have been most affected.

Many children received no education after schools closed across the continent in March 2020.

[1] My child is no longer learning, she is only waiting for the reopening to continue with her studies,” said a mother of a 9-year-old girl in eastern Congo.

[2] A mother of two preschool-aged children in North Kivu, Congo, said, “It does not make me happy that my children are no longer going to school. Years don’t wait for them. They have already lost a lot… What will become of our uneducated children?”

[3] Lusenge K., 16, also from Congo, said in June she had no education after schools closed, and was concerned that she would not enter her final school year: “Lockdown is not good for me.”

[4] The director of a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Madagascar that provides education and alternative care services to children who were previously homeless and either orphaned or unable to live with their parents said that children accommodated with host families “did not have any education within the closure.


Country like the Gambia, resorted to online lectures for the University student,by using Google classroom, google meet and the like.
Meanwhile for the students in senior, junior, primary and even nursery students were thought online too. Although it go a long way.
But helped to get the student busy and active,it still cannot be compared to the physical learning,it’s better and easier.
Most countries are still adapting to the system.

 

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