Africa is overwhelmingly a continent of small businesses, petty traders and micro-firms, with an estimated 95% of enterprises falling into this category. These are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Few have the savings to cover things like rent and pay wages as lockdowns across the continent see businesses close, custom dry up and employees let go. “Small business owners are quite terrified by what is going on right now — the uncertainty of how long this lockdown will continue and how long the economy will take to rebound after this,” said John Dludlu, the CEO of South Africa’s Small Business Institute, a national advocacy group for small business owners. This was echoed by the President of the Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Femi Egbesola. “Our members are worried, they are scared,” said Egbesola on the phone from Ikeja in Lagos State. To cushion the blow of the coronavirus pandemic, international organizations as well as African corporations, government and individuals are rushing to set up relief measures. Here’s an overview of what South Africa and Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economies, are doing, South Africa South Africa, the most diversified and industrialized economy on the continent, started… Read full this story
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