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Supply chain concerns addressed

Publish date: 30 March 2020
Issue Number: 866
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Covid-19

As the Covid-19 pandemic takes hold in Africa, many governments have begun to tighten borders, restrict gatherings and close schools. In an analysis on the African Arguments site, William Moseley notes that the crisis has already fundamentally changed people's lives not just with regards to public health but in terms of politics, the economy, public services, and much more. ‘What about food systems? One thing that cannot be put on hold is people's need to feed themselves. How will the pandemic affect Africa's supplies? How will it impact people's ability to buy necessities and subsist? In short, there's no particular reason to expect Africa's food supplies to be significantly affected as a direct result of the pandemic. Many African countries are net importers of food, with the continent spending about $65bn on food imports in 2017. The global trade on which this relies is not expected to be disrupted by the pandemic.’ Mosely points out that Africa also grows much of its own supplies. ‘Some 60% of the population is engaged in agriculture, including many small-scale farmers. Purely subsistence farmers – of whom there are relatively few – should be protected by the fact they grow most of their own food. Farmers who produce for the market as well as their own consumption may be well-placed to weather the crisis too, both in terms of feeding themselves and earning an income when other forms of employment decline.’

Full analysis on the African Arguments site