International Journal of Coronaviruses
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Research Article | Open Access
  • Available online freely | Peer Reviewed
  • | Provisional

    Topic: Assesses the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Social-Economic Situation in Africa

    Ebrima K. Ceesay 1      

    1University of Gambia, Banjul, Gambia


    Assesses the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the social and economic situation in Africa. The data use in this paper was generated from online survey questionnaire, in which the participants were asked about certain questions in which covid-19 affect their social-economic live. The questionnaire was design to help Africa to understand covid-19 impacts. The results reveal that covid-19 affected Africa; 1) 51.6% responded said that coronavirus affect their job search 2) Over the past three months, 47.1 percent of the respondents said their private financial situation remain unchanged 3) 61 percent did not trust the true existing of the Covid-19. 5) According to this online survey administered using Google form, 51.8 percent of the respondents said services sectors are most impacted sector pandemic, follow by industrial sector, 31.3 percent and agriculture is least sector at 8.4 percent. Policy implication is that it has serious impacts on social-economics interactions.

    Received 19 Dec 2020; Accepted 26 Dec 2020; Published 29 Dec 2020;

    Copyright©  2020 Ebrima K. Ceesay

    Creative Commons License    This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    Competing interests

    The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


    Ebrima K. Ceesay (2020) Topic: Assesses the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Social-Economic Situation in Africa. International Journal of Coronaviruses - 2(3):1-10.
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    This paper assesses the impacts of covid-19 on socio-economic situation in Africa. Coronavirus pandemic which had created from the Wuhan Province of China in last part of December 2019. It instigated increasing quickly in China and to other parts of the world through the movement of people in late 2019 and early 2020. The feast of COVID-19 pandemic pretentious economic undertakings in China, the Chinese economy came to a standstill. China is a major exporter of producer and consumer commodities to Africa, and the economic reduction in China is anticipated to have spillover effects for Africa through the deleterious effect on African trades that depend on deeply on China for the supply of primary and intermediate raw materials. The coronavirus crisis is affecting many African countries, and the number of confirmed cases have been rising rapidly with a particularly severe situation in South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Cameroon. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, maximum of the healthcare infrastructure in African countries had worsened. The plain social consequence of the coronavirus crisis was fingered through the burden of movement limitations. These measures inevitably affected economic activities in African countries.

    Most central banks applied fiscal policy, monetary policy and exchange rate policy to stabilize the economic in both the long run and short dynamics.

    The emergent coronavirus literature has discovered the effect of the coronavirus predicament on sector like tourism industry sector 2, the mining sector as part of industrial sector4, or the economy 5, 6, 7. First, this study contributes to the recent literature on the impact of coronavirus in society8. The paper contributes to this literature by exploring the socio-economic effect of coronavirus in Africa by looking at the context that was not mention in the literatures such as the online research methodology. The main objective of the paper is to assess the impacts of covid-19 on the social-economic live and livelihoods of the people in Africa, specifically; 1) the sectors’ that made up the economy, 2) perception of the people 3) social distancing 4) job search 5) Private financial situation, 6) prevention method of covid-19 pandemic etc. The paper follow this formatting. Section 2 presents the brief literature review. Section 3 current statistic of covid-19 in the World and Africa Section 4 the online research methodology. Section 5 the results. Section 6 concludes and policy implication.


    Online Research Method: The data use in this paper was generated from online survey questionnaire from June,2020 to October, 2020, in which the participants were asked about certain questions in which covid-19 affect their social-economic situation. The questionnaire was design to help Africa to understand covid-19 impacts on their daily live. Respondent were questions such as; Psychology-Behavior, altitude, perception, trust, lockdown, Agriculture, Energy sector, Job/employment/employee, Daily working, Economic, , GDP, Social Impact-Ceremonial gathering. The initial information was reviewed to understand the final information we put it as questions to increases quality and what information needed to be gather or not gather.

    Sample and sample size: I used the online Sample Size Calculator. It helps me to known how many peoples to interviews from given target population. I selected target population in Africa to be 200,000,000 million peoples and I had included confidence level of 95 percent and confidence intervals of 8,as the smaller the confidence intervals, the larger the sample size needed to do the survey as the population remain constant. After all this gives me the sample size needed assuming the above given population is 150 ( It is a non-probability sample technique to determine the sample size and therefore it is convenience sample. Hence it is online survey and the sex was indicated and it is well representative and therefore 85 of the respondents are male and they represent 82.5 percent of the respondents and female that response to the online survey are 18 peoples and that correspondent to 17.5 percent of the total respondents. The bias may applied in non-probability sample methods due to the fact that in some questions, the respondents did not fill it out and therefore this will have in fact affect the expected value and the true value of the parameters to be estimated and this will also affect the decision rule and type two errors may appeared and the correspondent power of the test, which is the p-value which is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is true. The external validity of the sample is good because the results of the survey and the actually evaluation is done on Google form and all the graphs are directly draw from it. Thus. As I used WHO survey design to type the questionnaires on Google and it can widely be analysis in other context that are not internal. The questionnaires are reliable and validity as well because due to the fact during covid-19 most that have access to internet in Africa want to have key prevention of covid-19 in their respective countries.


    From Figure 1, 51.6% responded in Africa that coronavirus affect their job search and while 45.2% said it does not affect their job search and only small margin of 3.2% said maybe it affects or not. A continued lockdown not only causes risks to regaining jobs, but it also causes jobs seeking or finding extreme difficult. In African, contrast to others developed countries, there is lack of knowledge and tools to operate and use adequately information communication technology (ICT) and research and development (R&D) to communicate and use it as a tools to work from homes. In additional, most companies cannot lack knowledge in ICT. So, the lower output makes most of the companies to reduce workers. Even Africa’s companies can do work from homes, the fluctuations of electricity in most of the countries in Africa will not allow to have continue works online and in that cases this will discourages most of the companies not to hire more workers due to ineffectiveness and inefficiencies and lack of productivity they will brings to the companies. In the part, jobs seekers will have no alternative sources of income, so food insecurity will be high and this will eventually increases the level of unemployment rates in Africa and the decline in overall economic output.

    Figure 1. Job search and COVID-19 pandemic June,2020 to October,2020
    Figure 1.

    From Figure 2, 59 out of 105 respondent i.e. 56.2 percent of the respondent said they live with children that are below the age of 18 years and 21.9 percent said they do not do the following; live alone, live with children under 18, live with people in a COVID-19 risk group (people over 65 years and/or with chronic disease).In Africa, if most live with covi19 risk peoples, it will causes huge lost to the entire population, the study noted due to lack of proper health care facilities, lack of adequate human capital formation and high level of poverty and debt. In Africa, even the climate change can causes the virus to easily spread due to lack of good environmental places, lack of good drinking water and lack of good cleaning of the surrounding, poor energy supply for the population etc. The virus spread differently like through toughing noise, mouth, faces, hand. As most African countries have poor environment and dirty surrounding, the virus will easily spread as well. Note that this does not mean that the virus cannot spread through other means such as gathering together without observing social distancing principle. Another important prediction maybe in the long run this coronavirus will hurt Africa more because lack of proper health facilities and lack of human capital and high debt to GDP ratios and this will hurt the economic growth for a longer period of time.

    Figure 2. Household and COVID-19 pandemic June,2020 to October,2020
    Figure 2.

    From Figure 3, Over the past three months, 47.1 percent of the respondents in Africa said their private financial situation remain unchanged/remains the same. This is due to the fact that most of those peoples’ is either privately working for themselves or working for governments or private sectors that do not reduces their workers incomes. This we mean that they have job security. So financially, there income remains the same whatever the circumstances or situation they find themselves excluding conflicts, displacement, climate change effects such as drought, flooding, sea-level rises, salt water intrusion, bushfire, salinization, pollution, erratic rainfall, high temperature etc and wars. This variables will change their incomes and will make to them to migrates elsewhere either temporary or permanent, in-migration or out-migration and obviously there private financially situation will be worsen during the covid-19 pandemic. 38.5 percent of the respondent said, there private financial situation became worse during the last three months of covid-19. This of course associated with lockdown negative impact on jobs, petty businesses or informal sector businesses, community fishing businesses, farming either livestock or crop production, hunting etc. Most of the peoples that are doing the above business(es) due to closure of markets and lockdown of most of places and even lack of access to street all of them causes lack of finance and that will have negative impacts of their financial situation.

    Figure 3. Private financial situation and COVID-19 pandemic June,2020 to October,2020
    Figure 3.

    From Figure 4, According to the survey, 35.2 percent said they know people in their social environment who are infected with this pandemic disease and the large respondent of 64.8 percent said they did not know people in their immediate social surrounded who are or have been infected with COVID-19. This large gaps maybe due to the fact that peoples did not believe entirely that coronavirus exist especially in Africa in which most of the peoples believe in traditional medicine than modern medicine. Most of peoples said in Africa that coronavirus is in Europe and not in Africa, Most locals peoples that are interviewed by media said they have not seen anyone who can show you coronavirus is real. Some said it is just that our government is lying to us. Some even said up to a point that, they are using it to defraud the masses, who are already suffering from other health issues, food insecurity, hunger, malnutrition, poverty and etc. In Africa, trust between peoples and government are the mainly causes of not believing the existing of covid-19.This is confirmed in this survey study that is done using Google form.

    Figure 4. Social environment and COVID-19 pandemic June,2020 to October,2020
    Figure 4.

    From Figure 5, Most of the peoples in Africa did not trust the true existing of the Covid-19, ninety-eight peoples that responded to this part of the survey, approximately 61 percent said they did not know anyone who die from covid-19, while closely estimate of 32 percent said they known someone who died from covid-19 and 7.1 percent did not actually believe that covid-19 killed someone they known. This is attributed to that peoples in most part of Africa are not well inform, did not trust the information about covid-19 or did not trust their government and health sectors.

    Figure 5. Death and COVID-19 pandemic June,2020 to October,2020
    Figure 5.

    From Figure 6, In Africa according to this online survey administered using Google form 93.2 percent know how to protect themselves from covid-19. This mean that most of peoples that respondents to this survey knows the prevention mechanism of covid-19 such as; Clean your hands often by Using soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub, Maintain a social distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing, Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible, Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, Stay home if you feel unwell., and If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, then seek medical attention. According to this online survey only 3.9 percent said they did not know at all how to protect themselves from covid-19 pandemic, while only 1 percent said they are being optimistic about the information at hand that they know how to protect themselves from coronavirus.

    Figure 6. Prevention and COVID-19 pandemic June,2020 to October,2020
    Figure 6.

    From Figure 7, Most of the peoples in Africa said it is extremely difficult to avoid an infection with covid-19 pandemic at current situation 61.6 percent. In fact extremely difficult to avoid an infection of covid-19 in Africa is due to; almost all types of transportation in Africa are overcrowded-the close proximity of passengers and frequently handing of money makes coronavirus to spread, Peoples still goes to different gathering such as ceremonies, mosques, churches etc, Continue visiting market and lack of continue hand washing, increases in physical contact, lack of trust most have in Africa about covid-19, also have serious consequence in Africa.

    Figure 7. Avoiding an infection and COVID-19 pandemic June,2020 to October,2020
    Figure 7.

    From Figure 8, In Africa, 51.8 percent of the respondents said services sectors are most impacted sector during covid-19 pandemic. This is due to the fact most of the sectors that belong to this sectors such as IT sectors, tourism sectors, health sectors, and educational sectors . They are all affected because of barrier to travels making tourism contribution to tax revenue reduces drastically and in most of the countries in Africa tourism is one of the main contributor to their economic, if it reduces, it contribution to revenue and economic and even the contribution to societies also reduces especially transportation services for them as well. As restriction make transportation from place to place difficult and that also affect the services sector contribution to GDP and for the IT sectors as one of the service sectors and most important sectors in Africa is impacted during pandemic because most of the jobs should be operate from homes as do the western countries but in Africa most of the workers lack knowledge and skills to operate work from home due to lack of electricity both renewable energy and non-renewable energy and they impact negatively to economic growth due low investment and high consumption those sectors as well.31.3 percent respondents said industria sectors are the most impacted sector during pandemic. This is attributed to the fact industrial sectors during this pandemic especially airline industries, clothing induestries, automobile induestries, vehicle industries, retail industries, manufacturing industries are all affected one way or the others either production, distribution and final to reach at the customers due to travel ban. If industries is not working well, that will make that industries to reduces it worker to have capture with the capita to be able to pay the remaining workers. In china for example in which most of the African mobile or other clothing are made and as they are affected, the export reduces their economic by net export and import in Africa continue to reduces their economy both before pandemic and during pandemic. In Africa, according to the respondents agriculture is least sector affected during pandemic at 8.4 percent. Service sector affect through worker productivity, employment, revenue, education closure, fragile health facilities in Africa, lockdown customers reduces deposit in the banks too and lockdown while industrial sector affected through processing, employment, distribution, supply chain, revenue/output and level of raw material also reduces and finally agricultural sectors divided into fishing, crop production, livestock production, horticulture, hunting, forestry are all affected through lack of laborers, transportation and marketing to reach at the final customers decline, food prices reduces, distribution and production halt down, households that depend on fishing, livestock and crop production have negative effect on them because of lockdown. Quality of education SDGs number 4, Poverty SDGs number 1 and Hunger SDGs number 2 all will be affected negatively during lockdown because most of the schools in Africa cannot do proper online classes and hence they lack necessary tools to interact and solve certain complex problem such as quantitative issues and courses that needs practical training and that affect the performances of student and overall quality of education reduces. Tourism is affected through border closure and travel bans and that affects both countries of origin and countries of destination and affects overall migration and remittance especially in Africa, where majority of youth are migrated to western countries.

    Figure 8. Sectors and COVID-19 pandemic June,2020 to October,2020
    Figure 8.

    Discussion of the Results

    For instance, 9, 10 indication that COVID-19 has pretentious day-to-day life and is decelerating down the worldwide economy. The weakness of the study is that there is no really data or forecasting techniques that indicated that the worldwide economic will be down. In our study differ from them is that as they are talking about the worldwide economy, we are dealing with African’s economy and also our results stated that services sector is predominantly affected compared to other sectors that composed the economy of Africa and world at large.

    It maybe that the country’s that do precaution measures, will have the reserve to boost their economy after covid-19. They argue that the economic effects of coronavirus such as the slowing of the manufacturing of essential goods, disruption of the supply chain of products, losses in national and international business, poor cash flow in the market, significant slowing down in the revenue growth while the social consequences include the cancellation or postponement of large-scale sports and tournaments, disturbance of celebration of cultural events, religious and festive events, social distancing, closure of hotels, bars and restaurants and religious places, closure of places for entertainment.

    If migration increases by 0%, economic growth in the Gambia will reduces by 1.8 1. Covid-19 disrupts migration both domestically and international due to travel bans. The net migration rate of courses will have indirect effect on economic growth through remittances, which have direct impacts on economic growth. The limitation of his finding maybe due to the fact that covid-19 migration rate fluctuated with time and the trend may be downward sloping- meaning more migration at the time of covid-19 may have negative consequences to both the destination countries and countries of origin.

    7, 8 using a simple model, show that the coronavirus trigged a negative supply shock. 11 revealed that the health predicament distorted/transformed into an economic predicament which was augmented through financial channels. This study also confirmed that, covid-19 affect the private financial situation in Africa. This may be attributed to lower investment, closure of boarders-trade barriers, and restriction and travels bans and closure of markest.

    Conclusion and Policy Implication

    Assesses the covid-19 and its effect on the economics of Africa by looking at the people’s perception and social-economic situation in Africa. As the results generated, most people said coronavirus will affect African countries even in the future due to the fact that African countries do not have proper human capital to deal with this pandemic and due to lockdown most of the revenue and products are drive from tourisms and china, due to services sector and industrial sector that are mostly affected. As lockdown rises and travels ban affects the tourism sectors and it makes Africa vulnerable and that contribution to tourism sector decline and that reduces the overall economic growth in the last quarters of 2019 and the whole year of 2020.The most peoples that answer to this online survey said coronavirus affect their daily life such as job search, the economic sectors, income, employment, consumption etc. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

    The policy implication of covid-19 as indicated in this survey is that, most of the countries in Africa depend on agricultural sectors and that are least sectors affected by covid-19. This have serious impacts on social-economics interactions. If social-economic interaction decline, this will eventually causes trade, exchange of goods and services to slow-down and eventually will have negative impacts on economics through lack of exchange rates, import, export, net-export per se, balance of payment, investment, consumption, saving, agriculture, causes high commodity prices, debt to GDP ratios to be high, climate change effects affect livelihoods and agriculture productivity will decline through crops failures and low productions in fishing and livestock industries, high co2 emission will affect national parks, wildlife and forests’, poverty, food insecurity and hunger will rises due to insufficient demand of food stuffs items because of low import and poor agriculture, the domestic and international migration will be reduces, remittances reduces and those left behind are seriously affected in terms of health, food security, education especially women, children, elderly and disable that are left behind and this will have negative consequences on economic growth and development. This may be attributed to lack of exposure to this for export to others countries. As we export less in agricultural sector, that made it less vulnerable compare to industrial or service sector. As we import most of products from china and western countries so this make most industrial sector or manufacturing sector such as clothing sector, autor mobile sector, car sector, to be affected totally and this affects daily interaction with the outside world. Total imports granger caused growth and growth granger caused import in the Gambia 3. As service sector is the sector that is seriously affected in Africa, it workers decline and its services remain stagnated. As for now and in the future covid-19 pandemic will affects Africa in both short term and long term by lack of trust with the governments, lack of proper information about covid-19, continue observing social gathering, do not follow health care advice and etc.

    Compliance with Ethical Standards

    Funding: This study does not have any funded

    Ethical Approval

    All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

    (In case humans are involved) Informed consent:  Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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