The world is still in the early stages of figuring out just how much of an impact COVID-19 will have on the global economy. Yamkela Makupula, the CEO of Diaz Reus Africa, is one of the first to start discussing just how much of an impact the entire continent of Africa is facing, and how specific issues can be solved. In an interview with SABC News, she threw out a few ideas and thoughts on the pandemic so far, and how Africa can get back on track sooner rather than later.
Early studies are showing that the GDP of sub-Saharan Africa could go down by 1.6%, or even more, due to the global pandemic. This has caused a lot of changes already, most notably that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement is now postponed until next year. With so many other issues to deal with, this was put on the back burner for now.
What Makupula points out is that this should be a time of unity for the continent, instead of trying to get back on track on a country by country basis. With so many resources scattered throughout Africa, it makes the most sense for countries to put any differences aside and focus on righting the ship as quickly as possible.
The harsh truth is that even before the pandemic, many countries were already struggling economically in Africa. This issue makes the margins even tighter according to Makupula, and there is a grim outlook out there without any assistance.
Magpul sees a more unified Africa as being the best answer for most countries. This presents a very unified front to the rest of the world, which will allow countries to open their doors much quicker than any other solution out there. So many countries rely on heavily trading a few resources to not only other countries in Africa, but globally as well. The sooner things stabilize on the continent, the more likely other countries will start to return to business as usual.
How can everything come together at a time like this? Makupula believes that it takes the proper infrastructure and leadership at the top to make it all work. In a time of severe need, this is more than just a government issue. There needs to be cooperation between the government and the private sector to speed up a solution.
The focus, once cases start to stabilize and disappear, is to continue making Africa, as a whole, a place to invest in. All parts of the world are dealing with their own issues in regards to COVID-19, and certain countries and regions are definitely going to fall behind others. There is a real chance of the gap widening within African if proper leadership is not put in place. There will be a case of the haves and the have nots, but Makupula believes that does not have to be the case.
Countries presenting themselves one by one to the rest the world is something that has been an issue in the past, and it is only going to get worst post-pandemic. A more unified front is exactly what Makupula thinks will help get everything back in working order as quickly as possible. Whether it is some of the wealthiest countries like Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa, or countries struggling quite a bit, COVID-19 is impacting everyone financially. It just makes the most sense to not go into the biggest economic hit in modern history without the assistance of other countries.
Since COVID-19 is still a developing issue with no vaccine in the foreseeable future, it is unclear what the final impact will be across the continent. By taking action now, Makupula believes Africa can minimize some of the effects as much as possible. Her firm Diaz-Reus has offices all over the world with headquarters in Miami, Florida and associates can help out for your case needs as we all work globally to recover from COVID-19.