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Article
Publication date: 21 December 2020

Abiodun Elijah Obayelu, Sarah Edore Edewor and Agatha Osivweneta Ogbe

The paper is a preliminary assessment of coronavirus disease’s (COVID-19) effects on African trade, policy responses and opportunities within the limitations imposed by…

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper is a preliminary assessment of coronavirus disease’s (COVID-19) effects on African trade, policy responses and opportunities within the limitations imposed by data and the information currently available and in the lights of other international organizations’ growth forecasts. The study was undertaken to get deeper understanding of the threats and opportunities of COVID-19 on African trade because of the existing interconnected trade networks making African countries to be more vulnerable and increasing number of restrictions and distortions among major traders. This study aims to present strong information required in underpinning sound national, regional and inter-regional policy responses to keep trade flowing.

Design/methodology/approach

To assess COVID-19’s effects on African trade, policy responses and opportunities, this study relied on data and information currently available from organizations such as World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank (WB), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, International Monetary Fund, European Union, International Trade Statistics and various African countries’ trade and national statistics publications. The analysis contains two main scenarios. The first, an observed effects scenario (first quarter of year 2020), looks at the observed effect of COVID-19 outbreak on trade in Africa. The second, a potential effects scenario, analyses the potential trade effects if the COVID-19 outbreak lingers and spreads more intensively than is assumed in the baseline scenario.

Findings

The COVID-19 outbreak affects several aspects of international trade even though the full effects of the outbreak are not yet visible in most trade data. Some leading indicators had shown that keeping trade flow can support the fight against COVID-19 as well as having damaging effect on Africa’s trade. COVID-19 had led to a deep fall in transaction, both at the international level and within-regions. Tariffs and other restrictions to imports harm the flow of critical products to African countries. Uncooperative trade policies lead to higher prices of goods in fragile and vulnerable African countries.

Research limitations/implications

Long term in-depth analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on trade using quantitative data is still very difficult because of paucity of data and the great level of the improbability of the trajectory of the spread of the virus. Informed assessment of the full trade impact of the pandemic on African countries is therefore still difficult. Notwithstanding, this study assesses the immediate effects and conveys the likely extent of impending African trade pains and the potential needs for assistance.

Practical implications

Trade in both goods and services plays a key role in overcoming the pandemic and limit its effects by providing access to essential medical goods to treat those affected, ensuring access to food, providing farmers with needed inputs, support jobs and sustain economic activity during global recession. However, temporary COVID-19 trade measures such as borders closure, export prohibition and import ban are a threat to globalization and free trade agreements engaged by some African countries.

Social implications

The continuous rise in COVID-19 cases is expected to trigger economic recession in Africa despite a rapid expansion and creation of new social protection programmes. The unavoidable decline in trade caused by COVID-19 is already having painful consequences on the economy, social anxiety among families, households, businesses and trade across countries in the continent. COVID-19 trade restrictions aimed at reducing the transmission of the virus have led to loss of income and jobs as well as closure of small and vulnerable businesses. Policymakers should enforce social policies that unite countries within the continents in bad times to reduce social anxiety and hardship.

Originality/value

Although the effects of COVID-19 outbreak on global and regional trade have received enormous attention recently, facts in the form of data have been thin particularly on African trade. This paper, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, is one of the first set of studies that provides preliminary assessment of COVID-19’s effects on trade in Africa using scenarios-building approach based on the available data and information on regional trade, complemented by those from the WTO, WB and departments of trade and statistics from various African countries such as the Nigeria Nation Bureau of Statistic and Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics.

Details

Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-4408

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 September 2019

Abiodun Elijah Obayelu, Agatha Osivweneta Ogbe and Sarah E. Edewor

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to assess the gender gaps and the patterns of female workforce in agriculture; to examine the level of household decision making…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: to assess the gender gaps and the patterns of female workforce in agriculture; to examine the level of household decision making among the principal males and females in the household; and to estimate the time spent by the principal males and females in the household by activities in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The study made use of secondary data obtained from various sources such as published articles, research reports, unpublished discussion paper, policy documents, national and international databases (World Bank World Development Indicators, United Nations Development Programme and the ECOWAS-RAAF-PASANAO survey conducted in Nigeria in 2017), and position papers. The information gathered covers a range of empirical and conceptual issues relating to labour, share of women contributing to agriculture and other gender-related issues. The study covered 1,747 maize and/or rice producing households spread across 141 farming communities in 16 states in Nigeria using a multi-stage sampling technique.

Findings

It was interesting to note that an average male was older and had more educational qualification than their female counterparts. In the same vein, he owned more assets (virgin lands, other plots and buildings) when compared with their female counterparts and earned higher incomes from farming and other labour activities with the exception of trading. Furthermore, the result revealed females spent more time taking care of children, cooking and schooling than their male counterparts. It can therefore be concluded that a gender gap exists in agricultural labour participation with the males playing dominant roles as compared with their female counterparts. Analysis of women’s agricultural should not neglect the structural bases of their inequality.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited by lack of enough data base on women’s and men’s engagement in labour force and on agricultural activities which can be analysed for policy formulation and implementation.

Social implications

The paper elucidates some of the possible social, economic and biological implications of changes in women’s work and their participation in agriculture in Nigeria.

Originality/value

The paper is original in nature and will add value to the integration of women into the development process in Nigeria.

Details

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-0705

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

Evans S. Osabuohien

Abstract

Details

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-0705

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