The coronavirus is not only causing a health crisis but also a food crisis that is looming in southern countries.
How can this be explained?
The fall in international trade due to the health crisis led to the fall in the prices of raw materials. Financial flows from Westerners to Africa, namely foreign direct investments, development aid, tourism and above all the transfer of money from the diaspora to African families have collapsed. We also note the disruption of economic activities. This is due to the restrictions and containment policies adopted by African countries to prevent and limit the evolution of the pandemic.
The world in recession, a food crisis on our doorstep!
According to RFI, growth is likely to drop from + 2.4% in 2019 to - 2%, or even - 5% in 2020, which will be the first recession for twenty-five years. The impact will be felt on social well-being, that is to say on the income and consumption of populations in Africa. (Source RFI)
The World Bank report on the coronavirus crisis makes us understand that in Africa, there will be a decrease in agricultural production of 2.6% in 2020 and in food imports. Several countries have difficulty in obtaining basic foodstuffs.
The World Bank is working with African countries by setting up health emergency programs and strengthening health systems. In addition, it also aims to protect the social well-being, the activities of men and companies to avoid a flood of unemployed in the countries.
Should we just adopt a copy and paste of adaptation strategies?
Africans should not only copy the methods used elsewhere but try to find solutions that take into account their economy and the resources available at their level.
This is the case in Benin and in many other countries where strict containment has not been ordered by the authorities. Benin does not have the means to decide on containment because many economic activities are in the informal sector. The populations live from day to day and spend the profits made the day before. Containment is just recommended with the shutdown of public transport, the isolation of large metropolises from the rest of the country, the compulsory wearing of masks and an increase in screening tests to control the pandemic in their own way.
Some countries assist households and businesses by delaying the payment of taxes and bills.
What if we simply forgot the debts of African countries?
World Bank Chief Economist for Africa Albert Zeufack believes the recession that will hit Africa this year could have dire consequences if the international community does not act. A moratorium on the repayment of interest on the debt is essential, he said.
As the expression that has become proverbial in Benin reminds us, are we going to suffer without being able to do anything about it?
Mr. World Bank, now is the time to delete " our debts »If your objective is not ultimately the impoverishment of poor countries.