A couple of months ago, Africa’s financial journey was bright. Development Bank in Africa projected a 3.9% growth in 2020 and an increase of 0.2% in 2021. However, something happened along the way; the coronavirus pandemic emerged from China spreading worldwide. When Africa confirmed its 61 cases, the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA) revised the economic growth downwards to 2%. Is Africa headed towards its first recession in 25 years? The unpleasing figures can largely be attributed to a reduction in FDI, direct hits to tourism and oil sectors, and disrupted value chain.
As it is, no industry can be recession-proof, but tech-enabled sectors may have the muscles to withstand the shocks. This industry is getting a boost at this time as people find ways to adjust to the current situations. The only way to adjust to this situation with limited human interaction is to take your business online. Three major industries are likely to face and challenge the hard times we are facing. Let us find out:
Africa Digital Health
Africa lacks enough medical personnel and has limited hospitals. The lack of medical staff has significantly affected the number of patients they can deal with has the health system is termed fragile. Technology can be of great help by providing software for self-assessment and symptoms checking. This will leave the doctors to attend to the patients that need their attention the most. A good example is Wellvis Company in Nigeria, which created the Covid-19 Triage tool, enabling users to check their Covid-19 risk category and consult remotely. Technology can help in the supply of medical equipment to remote places where they are needed the most.
There are emerging companies that are not likely to be rolled back when the crisis subsides. An example is Zipline operating in Rwanda and Ghana. They are holding emergency masks and gloves to deliver them in hospitals in minutes.
We are not sure if a company or sector will survive, let alone generate returns amid the Pandemic. On the other hand, tech-enabled companies are likely to witness increased demand from various sectors to bridge the existing health gap. If you are looking to build a recession-resilient portfolio or new opportunities, digital health is your sure bet.
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The handling of cash as wholly changed since the coronavirus hit the world. Mobile payment has become more popular amid the Pandemic. Companies that offer these services have reduced the transaction fees during this period to cheap in and help their fellow citizens. These companies are Safaricom, a Kenyan Mobile Company, and Paga in Nigeria. Fintech has been the most massive venture in the continent despite the coronavirus attracting over 50% of the total raised startups in Africa in 2019. These companies have introduced different payment methods that are friendly and fast. Coronavirus has accelerated the payment trend; more people come to the reality of paperless money.
Schools are now forced to adapt to reality and start e-learning platforms as the traditional classroom takes a back seat in the face of crisis. According to Andreas Schleicher, the OECD head of education,
“All the red tape that keeps things away is gone, and people are looking for solutions that they did not want to see in the past.”
Education innovators have taken turns and developed covid-19 proof systems that will enable students to learn while at home. Eneza Education, Kenya’s Education Platform, in partnership with the telco giant, has agreed to offer government-accredited curriculum to Kenyan students. If other countries embrace this act, we can see the act stick with us, even in the post-covid world.