Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, August 7, 2020

WEBINAR: Policies to address COVID-19’s impact on Africa’s informal sector

6 August 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted livelihoods in Africa by reducing earnings and limiting economic activity. Among the hardest hit economically are informal jobs, which account for 86% of all employment in the region (ILO, 2018). Informal workers are often not incorporated into social welfare systems and rely heavily on informal coping mechanisms to manage shocks.

Ongoing IGC surveys of traders in Nigeria and Sierra Leone show they have less customers, challenges restocking, and drops in income after national lockdowns were implemented in those countries. Informal traders are particularly impacted by social distancing rules and have less access to clean water and sanitation. Additionally, with 90% of women across Africa employed in the informal sector, COVID-19 threatens their economic self-sufficiency from plying their trade and contributing to the livelihood of their household.

This event explored the impact of COVID-19 on informal workers and discusses necessary policy measures to enhance social protection coverage and support mechanisms to protect informal workers if they lose their livelihoods.

Babatunde Fashola

Minister of Works and Housing, Nigeria

Hakeem Bishi

Research Project Manager

Lagos Trader Project

Danielle Resnick

Senior Research Felllow

International Food Policy Research Institute

Niccoló Meriggi

Country Economist

Country Staff, Researcher, Sierra Leone and Liberia Team

Twivwe Siwale

Policy Economist

International Growth Centre

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