Africa Day (25 May) is an annual opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in driving socio-economic growth and development. But this year, it is a more sombre occasion as we try to understand the human and economic cost of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, some overwhelmingly good news is that Africa was already moving in a positive direction before the virus hit. For example, the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement promises to help drive higher levels of intracontinental trade. Rather than letting Covid-19 slow down implementation of this agreement, let’s continue to pick up the pace and create a more open trading environment for all African states.
We also call upon governments to speed up their efforts to make it easier to do business. This is key not only in the response to Covid-19, but also in diversifying economies beyond agriculture and mining to innovative sectors like media, IT and fintech. This can help African countries become more competitive, create jobs and grow the tax base.
It’s heartening to see how African businesses have shown true grit, community spirit and flexibility in their response to Covid-19. Whether it’s Kenyan startups producing personal protection equipment using 3D printing, or South African craft breweries using their equipment to make soup for the poor, African businesses are banding together, mobilising to fight the pandemic with the goal of emerging stronger from the crisis.
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Source: Biz Community, May 2020