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COVID-19: An Opportunity for Intra-Africa Trade?

Africa contributes to less than 1% of global coronavirus cases so far, yet its economy is deemed to be the most affected by the pandemic with predictions that the GDP growth rate will halve this year. This is largely due to Africa’s over-reliance on cross-border trade, which contributes to the income of 43% of people in the continent.

With the continuance of border controls and closures, we assess the full impact of decreased trade on African businesses and the opportunities it may present for more regional collaboration on the continent.

Watch the full webinar with Thomas Birgen, AZA’s Co-Trading Desk Manager, below:

Notes:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on Africa so far [03:48]
  • How have foreign exchange shortages impacted trade and investment in the region? [12:00]
  • What steps have governments and businesses taken to stay ahead of the curve? [15:36]
  • What do we need to do to spur intra-Africa trade? [22:13]
  • What are the other effects of COVID-19 on informal businesses and what measures can informal economies take to survive? [28:50]
  •  How could Africa have avoided over-reliance on foreign trade? What models now best suit Africa’s position given what COVID-19 has revealed about the continent? [32:26]
  • What measures are being taken to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on trade without spreading the virus further and what is the way forward for trade in Africa? [35:22]
  • What are the examples of cases in which African countries are leveraging this as an opportunity to promote intra-Africa trade? With supply chains disrupted, are there any areas in which new ones (within Africa) could be established? [38:34]
  • To what extent does the current disruption affect private equity and other investments in African companies? [39:38]
  • What is the best approach for Africa to restore its economy considering that international debt raising to jump credit ratings might be difficult? [42:14]
  • How can business owners build and sustain growth? [43:26]
  • What is the way forward to boost regional trade? [44:25]
  • What steps should African governments take to increase the value of exports? [45:30]
  • How can we boost domestic travel within the continent? [47:02]
  • How can the challenges of currency and language barriers be handled? [48:19]
  • Why and how African governments should utilize resources from within rather than relying on external donors [50:30]
  • Can Africa afford to delay the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTFA)? [52:25]
  • What is the future of agricultural products and farming in Africa? [54:31]

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