Special to California Business Journal.
As every country globally, Africa is dealing with many complications in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many countries are currently trying to control and eliminate the coronavirus as much as possible, it is also making a huge economic impact domestically and internationally. One person who has been following the impact on the economy very closely is Yamkela Makupula, CEO of Diaz Reus Africa (see Attorney Michael Diaz in Miami). She recently had a chance to sit down for an interview with the South African Broadcast Corporation, where she laid out some of her ideas on what it will take for a sped-up economic recovery for most of the continent.
Early reports are grim when looking at the overall impact COVID-19 will have on Africa. Currently, numbers show that the GDP could go down by as much as 2%. That is a significant loss in a short amount of time, and when looked at by each country, it gets even worse in some locations.
Makupula is following the entire story, trying to figure out what a proper plan would be to turn the economy around and fix issues as quickly as possible. She believes that for the continent, it would be best for all countries to team up and present a unified front to help with their international perception and general stability.
Like any location around the world, Africa has had its fair share of disagreements. COVID-19 has shown that it can impact the rich and the poor, and the truth is, no country will come out of it without having to make some serious changes. Makupula feels as though teamwork can help both within the continent, and when exporting goods to other parts of the world.
With the African Continental Free Trade Agreement postponed until next year, it shows just how serious the issue is becoming. Countries should be looking for solutions instead of making things more challenging for neighbors on the continent. The economic impact is so severe that it could take struggling countries decades to recover on their own fully. With a unified approach, the impact will not be felt quite as much if everyone does their part. That means getting not only governments on the same page, but the private sector throughout Africa as well.
Some of the richest countries in Africa have the resources to bounce back, but instability in other areas might hold companies off before the invest in Africa again. Encouraging unity allows the world to have less doubt that Africa will once again be a dependable source for so many resources used around the globe.
Until the rest the world feels comfortable doing business with Africa again post-pandemic, it is going to be tough to open the borders and get back to normal fully. Africa must show that they are on the cutting edge of making sure that everything is safe and ready to go when it is time to open back up. With even just a little bit of lag, it could spell disaster for countries that were struggling before early 2020 when COVID-19 started to spread.
Makupula is very optimistic that things will come together for Africa if all the countries are able to stick together a bit and lend a helping hand on a unified front. However, she points out that one of the biggest issues is that it could get worse before it gets better. It has only been going on for a few months, and there is still no at this time. It could be a while before things get back to normal, but even having plans in the interim could end up working out.