COVID 19 - Training Working Papers


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 18
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    Climate Change and Migration in West African Coastal Zones
    (African Economic Research Consortium, 2021-11-09) Mbaye, Ahmadou Aly; Gueye, Adama; Gueye, Fatou; Sarr, Khady Yama; Gueye, Fama
    Global trends in migration show a predominance of internal over external flows. The African continent is the world’s most vulnerable region to climate change due to its higher levels of exposure and its scarcer financial resources for adaptation. Therefore, climate change presents in Africa some peculiar challenges to livelihoods, and security. In this paper, we assess the climate-induced migration in African coastal zones, accounting for many different factors such as conflict, demography, social networks, economic opportunities, and geographical factors such as the terrain. We also provide a critical review of major strands of models of climate-induced migration, namely agent-based models, choice-centred models, gravity model, and household allocation models. The most used data in climate change analyses are also analyzed.
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    Addressing Climate Change Cause and Effect on Land Cover and Land Use in Africa
    (African Economic Research Consortium, 2021-10-25) Adjaye, John Asafu-
    This study investigates the impact of climate change on land-use change and land cover (LCLUC)-induced greenhouse gas emissions in Africa. In particular, it tests the hypothesis that increasing agricultural productivity can be a land-based climate mitigation strategy to address the issue of LCLUC-induced emissions. The results confirm the well-known fact that climate change will have a devastating impact on Africa’s agricultural sector and therefore the welfare of the people. However, the results also clearly demonstrate that technology can be leveraged to improve agricultural productivity, which will not only enhance food production and improve food security but also mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, we show that employing agricultural intensification strategies based on lifting total factor productivity can increase agricultural output with less land use, thereby saving millions of hectares of land from being brought into cultivation for staple crop production.
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    State of the EAC Health Sector Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis
    (African Economic Research Consortium, 2021-10-25) Bigirimana, Noella; Rwagasore, Edson; Condo, Jeanine
    On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic with recommendations for countries to take appropriate measures to eliminate virus spread. As the pandemic continues to evolve, an estimated 156,496,592 confirmed cases and 3,264,143 deaths have been reported in more than 220 countries and territories (WHO, 2021). The COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus is highly transmissible from person to person, with a reproduction number, Ro, (number of additional cases resulting from initial case) estimated between 1.6 and 2.4 (Aylward & Liang, 2020). The COVID-19 burden has been asymmetrically distributed, with the Americas accounting for the greatest proportion of reported new cases, followed by Europe, South-East Asia, and Eastern Mediterranean. Africa and Western Pacific are the least affected regions (Aylward & Liang, 2020). The East African region has crossed the first year since the first cases were reported in March 2020. The region has recorded an estimated 7.3% of the cases and 4.4% of deaths reported in Africa. As of 8 May 2021, there were 246,427 confirmed COVID-19 cases across EAC countries, and among them 54,278 (22%) were active cases. There were 3,709 reported deaths in the region (EAC, 2021). Based on available records, Kenya has recorded the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the EAC region at 163,238 (66.2%), followed by Uganda at 42,308 (17.1%), Rwanda at 25,586 (10.4%), South Sudan at 10,637 (4.3%), and Burundi at 4,149 (1.7%). Tanzania’s last report on 29 April 2020 indicated 509 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths (EAC, 2021). These moderately low numbers, compared to other regions, could be partially attributed to Africa’s young population age structure, potentially underreporting of events and low testing rates. Another factor, however, is the containment measures adopted by several EAC member states in order to mitigate the spread. The first case in the East African region was reported on 13 March 2020 in Kenya, followed by initial case reports in other EAC states the same week. The approach by most countries was to put in place enhanced measures to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission, including lockdown restrictions, immediate isolation of confirmed cases, quarantining close contacts of confirmed cases, contact tracing, quarantining travellers, mandatory use of face masks, and expanding testing and treatment capacities. As the virus continued to spread, EAC countries took different approaches to reducing the incidence of the pandemic.
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    Impact of COVID-19 on Rwanda’s Health Sector
    (African Economic Research Consortium, 2021-10-14) Bigirimana, Noella; Rwagasore, Edson; Condo, Jeanine
    On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) with a strong recommendation for countries to take appropriate measures to interrupt virus spread. By 11 March 2020, the WHO had declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic with the number of cases estimated at 118,319, and the virus had expanded to 114 countries with ripple effects on every aspect of human life. The COVID-19 burden has been asymmetrically distributed. Although the infection and death rates in Africa did not reach the inflection points that had been predicted, there was unprecedented pressure on the public health systems in many African countries and far-reaching socioeconomic implications which may trigger major setbacks for years to come. Many African countries deployed the national budget to support in mitigating the health and economic crisis. Rwanda is the focus in the current report and evaluated as an illustrative example of a country which stemmed the spread of COVID-19 with early measures, while leveraging previous investments in the healthcare system and outbreak preparedness. This report seeks to: document the interventions put in place to mitigate COVID-19 transmission, including ongoing vaccination; examine the impact of COVID-19 on health outcomes; and describe interventions to mitigate socioeconomic impact. The report uses historical data, primary data, review of government and international reports, as well as published papers. The historical data covered two years before the onset of COVID-19 pandemic until December 2020 to reflect on any potential change in the use of key health services. Global reports are used to provide context for the outbreak preparedness. Key informant interviews were used to triangulate information collected with perspectives from policy makers, health implementers, academics, members of the National COVID-19 Task Force, and the general population as the consumers of services. The national information health systems were used to collate data prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This involved the extraction of key routine services data (vaccination, ANC, and outpatients’ records), from June 2018 to December 2020 to understand any disruption of the use of health services. Secondary data analysis was conducted to determine positivity rate, demographic characteristics and case fatality rate. Disease-specific HMIS countrywide data was analysed to determine trend of hospital consultation of major chronic diseases and mortality between June 2018 to December 2020 and compare two critical periods (before and after COVID-19 onset) to assess any existence of disruption of services and increase in number of mortalities as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. In Rwanda, the first case was confirmed on 14 March 2020, and was detected through preparedness and response measures that had been deployed in late January. The National Steering Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, is in charge of overall management, leadership, mobilizing, and coordinating resources to fight COVID-19 and its socioeconomic consequences. A National COVID-19 Task Force was activated to run daily activities and report to the National Steering Committee. The establishment of the command post was coordinated by the Government of Rwanda (GoR), in collaboration with bilateral and multilateral partners in the country, which guided the timely implementation and monitoring of public health and policy measures. A total of 11,032 cases were reported between 14 March 2020 and 17 January 2021. During this period, the epidemic in Rwanda progressed through four phases which comprise of: first phase which was characterized by a stable period with case either imported or linked to imported cases; it was followed by phase two characterized by the occurrence of the first clusters of community transmission identified on 31 May 2020 in the district bordering the Republic Democratic of Congo (DRC) with peaks of 200 cases daily, with positivity rate reaching 1.1%. The third phase was characterized by drop of cases with decreased number of daily confirmed cases and low case fatality rate; while in the last and fourth phase, started in December 2020, the number of cases and case fatality rate increased compared to the previous phases, the percentage positivity of tests tripled (3.4% vs ~1.0%), and the average number of daily cases reported has more than quintupled (124 vs 24). The majority of positive cases were male (64%) compared to 36% female. Among the 142 deaths recorded as of 17 January 2021, there were 102 (72%) male compared to 40 (28%) female. As implementation strategies, Rwanda sought to limit the spread of the virus through non-pharmaceutical public health to prevent community spread including a six-week lockdown across the country in March 2020, in addition to maintaining physical distancing and hygiene measures. The restrictions also included closure of non-essential businesses, school and church closures, limitations on intra- and inter regional transport, which aimed to contain the pandemic and protect the healthcare systems from being overwhelmed with demand from COVID-19 and other essential services. The national response focused on community surveillance, increased testing and developed targeted containment measures with intermittent lockdowns during sharp increases of cases and deaths. The country rolled out the first COVID-19 vaccination campaign on 5 March 2021 with Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines received through the international vaccine cooperative, COVAX Facility. This report provides recommendations for policy makers in the context of COVID-19 response in Rwanda. These recommendations aim at strengthening epidemic preparedness and response, based on lessons from the COVID-19 crisis in the country and region. Such discussions are particularly important given the risk of a second wave of infections, and the constant threat of other outbreaks.
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    Impact of COVID-19 on Light Manufacturing in the East African Community
    (African Economic Research Consortium, 2021-10-08) Walakira, Godfrey
    The measures introduced by the EAC governments to control COVID-19 pandemic have managed to supress the spread of infections; and in comparison with the developed countries, the EAC economies have relatively been resilient. The study report provides an assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on light manufacturing within the EAC. The methodology mainly relied on two main sources of information, that is, primary and secondary data. Information from national sources and already completed studies relating to the impact of COVID-19 on light manufacturing were used to address the shortcomings of non-response from the primary sources. The key findings of the report are highlighted as follows. The EAC economies of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda contracted in the second and third quarters of 2020, and the economy of Tanzania grew above 4% in the first three quarters of 2020. The containment measures implemented in the second quarter of 2020, as well as restriction of movements, suppressed aggregate demand for light manufacturing in the early stages of lockdown (from March to June 2020). The easing of restrictions among the EAC countries in August 2020 showed positive signs of rebound in the manufacturing sector, but not to the levels before COVID-19 Pandemic. The negative effects experienced by light manufacturers in the second quarter of 2020 in all the EAC countries were mainly the reduction in production output for manufacturers that were not producing essential items; while for essential products manufacturers, factories continued producing and industries diversified into producing the necessary personal protective equipment {PPE} like protective gears, sanitizers, face masks, and ventilators. Additional effects included financial distress to the manufacturers, liquidity and cash flows to meet their fixed and overhead costs, redundancy in the workforce where some employees were laid off, salary cuts and others went on leave without pay, and disruption of supply chains that limited the companies’ ability to source raw materials and secure markets for their outputs. Company innovation into digitalization and use of e-commerce improved some manufacturer’s distribution networks and uptake of products during the restriction of movements and lockdown. Impact on trade of manufactured products varied, that is, in the early stages of containment measures that were restrictive, export oriented companies saw a decline in their exports and sourcing of raw materials for production remained a challenge. The recovery programmes were developed to revive the most hit sectors of the economy, including manufacturing. The recovery solutions seemed to be about short-term fixes; but for the sustainability of the manufacturing sector, economic measures should look beyond COVID-19. Economic recovery in the manufacturing sector should aim at upgrading businesses to withstand future shocks. The policy options to boost and stimulate the recovery of light manufacturing within the EAC are broadly in the following areas: I. EABC, in coordination with national chapters, should spearhead the development a private sector led EAC recovery/rebound strategy that includes the main private sector needs and requirements for production efficiency. II. To boost productivity and operation efficiency of manufacturing companies, governments should promote and increase uptake of locally manufactured products in government projects and programmes. III. With outstanding private arears with government, governments should process letters of credit to local manufacturers indicating the debt obligation and promise of payment and can act as instruments of financial guarantee to the private sector. IV. Extension of tax relief to the end of June 2021 and governments should fast track clearance of VAT refunds to increase manufacturers’ liquidity and cash flows. V. The private sector should engage in the negotiations of eliminating the existing non-tariff barriers (NTBs); EABC, in coordination with national chapters, should engage at bilateral private to private level to identify and coordinate with their respective governments the elimination mechanism. VI. With the new variants of COVID-19 mutating in the world, the crisis continues with some countries entering the third wave, while in EAC, the second wave is expected. EAC manufacturing companies must navigate through by implementing risk mitigation strategies to minimize the looming recessions and slowdowns that may result from second and third waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.