COVID-19 has unleashed a devastating economic crisis globally. In Africa for instance, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which are the continent’s entrepreneurial fabric have been hit really hard by the pandemic.
The entire sectors of the continent’s economy are currently shut down. SMEs, which alone account for 60% of formal employment are facing major cash flow problems due to the restrictions imposed by national governments to stem the spread of the virus.
The 2020 edition of the International Trade Centre’s 2020 SME Competitiveness Outlook captured in profound detail how the COVID-19 pandemic affected SMEs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been both a health and an economic crisis and has presented a number of challenges for SMEs and global supply chains.
“ITC’s 2020 SME Competitive Outlook report analyses the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs, international supply chains and trade while highlighting actions to build the resilience of SMEs given that they will continue to be lightning rods for future growth and to meet the Sustainable Global Goals,” ITC acting Executive Director, Dorothy Tembo, said.
Critical to the economic growth of Africa, SMEs represent about 90 percent of Africa’s businesses and provide about 60 percent of jobs on the continent.
In light of the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Face2face Africa looks at some of the ways African governments shifted resources to SMEs.