Hamar at Turmi (in explore) / Rod Waddington via Flickr ; 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

COVID-19: challenging inclusive development in Africa


This page is dedicated to sharing knowledge on how the coronavirus pandemic and related interventions are likely to affect development programmes and the livelihoods of people in Africa.




What about the successes? Positive lessons from Africa’s COVID response in 2020.

Ideas and assumptions have begun to shift around vulnerability, the formal-informal divide, local-global, fundamental skills and investments, the role of different actors, and even what it means to be developed or developing.

COVID case studies: preliminary results and comparisons

So far, there have been relatively fewer casualties due to COVID-19 in African countries compared to the rest of the world, but much deprevation in other ways linked to the crisis, and this should be considered going forward.

Lessons in learning: challenges and opportunities for education in a post-COVID world

COVID-19 has caused the largest disruption to education systems in history. Closures of schools and other learning spaces have impacted almost 1.6 billion learners in over 190 countries, representing 94 percent of the world’s student population.

COVID researchers discuss interim findings, challenges and next steps

Preliminary findings reveal some interesting patterns (and highlight certain anomalies) in the design and implementation of emergency responses across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Novissi solidarity fund: Exemplary cash transfers during Covid-19

This two-pager highlights features that contributed to the success of the cash transfer program, along with challenges and considerations for sustainability, expansion and replication.

Equity in COVID-19 mitigation and policy responses

INCLUDE is conducting a study looking at the impact of the various mitigation measures and policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic across the African continent.

COVID-19 and governance in Africa: emerging issues

Enough time has passed to identify exemplary performers and those who are struggling, though longer term outcomes are still unknown and to some degree malleable.

Rapid evidence during COVID-19: results from the RECOVR survey in Ghana

The deep interconnection between livelihoods, social protection, and food and wellbeing security must be considered more explicitly in forming policies for recovery and longer term resilience.

COVID-19 as an amplifier of youth employment challenges in Africa: implications for research

Possible COVID-19 implications on researchers conducting studies in youth employment domain during the pandemic.

By Mylene Bordeleau +2 more
From charity to fair chances: spotlight on Social Protection during COVID-19

This edition of INCLUDE’s COVID-19 news item reflects on how social protection plays an important role in the immediate response as well as longer-term strategies to reduce poverty and inequality and to mitigate against the impacts of future crises.

Never giving up: youth voices and participation in the time of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to have long-lasting social, cultural, economic and political impacts on the whole of societies, including young people, as highlighted by the UN Secretary General’s Report “Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity”.

Hit hard but fighting back: youth during COVID-19

There is an urgent need to create new jobs in addition to maintaining existing ones, and to support and strengthen programs for skills development among Africa’s youth.

Food security versus disease risk: how Africa is dealing with this policy conundrum

How current policy trends and practices will affect socioeconomic inequalities (both between and within countries), and what can be done to support the poorest and most vulnerable.

The impact of COVID-19 on agri-food systems and value chains in Ethiopia

How are agri-food systems across the world affected by COVID-19 through restrictions in production, demand, trade and transportation?

How COVID-19 affects inequality in Africa

This weekly updated news-item reports on the policy responses to the coronavirus outbreak and the potential impacts of this pandemic on African societies.

By Hannah Itcovitz +3 more

Contributions by our Platform Members

COVID-19 & its impact on African economies: Q&A with Prof. Lemma Senbet

"Given a very strong reinforcement and reawakening by COVID-19 about global interconnectedness, policies must be globally coordinated both at the health and economic levels."

Euro-African COVID-19 solidarity: the leadership

‘World leaders call for an urgent debt moratorium and unprecedented health and economic aid packages’

How African economies can easily recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

"We cannot predict the future, but we can be better prepared for the uncertainties that lie ahead"

Blogs & contributions from our network

The rich people’s virus? Latest reflections from Zimbabwe

COVID-19 is certainly an unequal disease, but in unpredictable ways. In Zimbabwe, it affects the rich and powerful disproportionately through illness and death and the poor through livelihood struggles during lockdown. How will the inequality virus’ evolution pan out over the coming months?

Using mobile phone and satellite data to target emergency cash transfers

This blog discusses the methods used by the Togolese government, in partnership with GiveDirectly, to expand the Novissi emergency fund to the poorest people living in rural areas.

COVID-19 reaffirms the importance of good governance and effective states in Africa

To enhance effective governance, states should start by addressing governance deficits and redefining and prioritising improvement of state-society relations, as well as revitalising the social contract.

Social protection in a time of COVID – 4 takeaways and 4 big gaps from a recent global discussion

From furloughing to school feeding programmes delivered to homes, 212 states and territories across the world have planned or delivered 1179 social protection interventions in response to the pandemic.

By Larissa Pelham
The Effects of a Universal Basic Income During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya

The results suggest that that cash helped hard-hit households weather a storm, but that Universal Basic Income was not enough to shield households completely from the economic hit, in part because it had induced them to increase their risk exposure.

By Abhijit Banerjee +4 more
South Africa’s COVID-19 struggle: caught between kleptocrats and lockdown sceptics

The South African government has made a mess of the lockdown. After it was praised in April for its speed and efficiency, by June, it was facing protest.

African women are leading the fight against COVID-19

It is no surprise that women-led countries have suffered six times fewer confirmed COVID-19 deaths than countries led by men, according to a University of Dublin study.

Building back better with communities at the center

Learning should continue beyond the limits of the classroom walls as one measure to reduce the magnitude of learning loss, estimated at 0.6 years by the World Bank by the end of the COVID-19 period.

Digital technology to scale Up COVID-19 social assistance: what have we learned?

Especially with the constraints of COVID-19, digital technology has played a critical role.

Nnaemeka Ugochukwu via UNSPLASH
The impact of COVID-19 laws on informal workers: a review of 51 countries

The COVID-19 pandemic could be a turning point for the recognition of informal work.

Opportunities for Youth Employment: more critical than ever in the face of COVID-19 pandemic

Young people, already hardest hit by unemployment and underemployment in normal times, require extra attention in during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Impact of COVID-19 on African Civil Society Organisations: Challenges, Responses and Opportunities

This report analyses how the pandemic has affected the funding, operations and roles of CSOs in Africa.

By EPIC Africa and @AfricanNGOs
Africa’s varied COVID landscapes

There is not a single African COVID-19 trajectory, but rather multiple, distinct risk profiles. Recognizing this can facilitate a better understanding of and response to the pandemic threat in Africa.

Learning from the best: evaluating Africa’s COVID-19 responses

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing health care and disaster management systems of countries and the agility of policy responses to effectively handle a public health catastrophe.

COVID-19: exploring the impacts on value chains

This policy brief explores the impact of COVID-19 on employment and livelihoods in developing countries, across and along value chains.

A ‘COVID revolution’ in Africa?

Think up new principles to guide the policies made by African governments in response to the COVID-19 crisis; establish durable alliances between progressive and concerned intellectuals to support better – innovative, responsive, and ethical – government in Africa.

COVID-19 and the future of work in Africa: How to shore up incomes for informal sector workers

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to disrupt the global economy, not only the health…

Impact of COVID-19 on micro, small, and medium businesses in Uganda

While measures may have contributed to the successful reining in of the virus, those same restrictions have hit business operations hard.

Frugal Innovation during the COVID-19 crisis: Examples from East Africa

The slowdown of international trade and importation of goods has stimulated local innovation in a new and even surprising way.

A sector worth billions whose employees now lack food and jobs

A rapid assessment of the effects of COVID-19 by Hivos East Africa shows that high food prices and loss of income are the major concerns for women working on flower farms in Kenya.

Why gender-sensitive social protection is critical to the COVID-19 response in low- and middle-income countries

The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to address existing gender inequalities through social protection.

By Melissa Hidrobo +4 more
COVID-19 prevention measures in Ethiopia: current realities and prospects

Public health measures that slow down the transmission of the virus should be continued and efforts to prevent transmission to rural areas should be prioritized.

COVID-19 lockdown in Zimbabwe: a disaster for farmers

Zimbabwe’s experience, like elsewhere in Africa, raises questions as to the costs of a heavy-handed lockdown, particularly on the poor and marginalised.

Cameroon’s Anglophones between a rock and a hard place during COVID-19

Should Africa blindly copy pandemic containment measures from other continents?

Response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia - some reflections

Reflecting on economic impacts that will originate in the demand-side and supply-side shocks related to the pandemic and policy responses to it, including lockdowns.