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      Africa: Corruption and Covid‐19's Effect on Economies

      Africa Research Bulletin: Economic, Financial and Technical Series
      John Wiley and Sons Inc.

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          Although Africa may escape the worst of the health emergency, concern is mounting about its effects on economies and public services, writes Africa Confidential (10/9). As Africa cautiously welcomes the positive news that it looks like it will escape the worst ravages of Covid‐19 infections, it is also having to deal with the fallout of several revelations of corruption among officials in their handling of Covid‐19 funds. There have been demonstrations in a number of countries about Covid‐19 corruption. In Zimbabwe, Obadiah Moyo, the sacked Minister of Health and Child Welfare, awaits trial on Covid‐related corruption charges. In Somalia, four health officials have already been jailed for misappropriating funds. In Kenya, where 300,000 people have lost their jobs because of the virus, civil society activity has grown sufficiently to persuade President Uhuru Kenyatta to order the Ministry of Health to publish details of all contracts issued and sums paid out. Particular attention will be paid to the activities of the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) at the centre of an alleged US$400m scandal that has prompted strikes at ill‐equipped hospitals, and street protests (see main article on Kenya). There have been further cases in South Africa, Nigeria and Uganda, all relating to greedy officials trying to enrich themselves. Beyond this regrettable sidebar, the main focus is turning towards trying to rebuild economies and strategise how to share in the anticipated vaccine roll‐out. Resurrecting economies is of course difficult when you hold very few economic trump cards and depend on others to buy your primary products. So, while public health officials are still calling for extreme care, the business‐minded are desperately trying to kick‐start international trade. Ghana's Kotoka Airport opened to international flights on September 2nd, and Nigeria reopened Lagos and Abuja on September 5th. In Nigeria, only a reduced number of flights are allowed, with a total cap of 1,280 international passengers allowed to land at these two airports each day. No incoming flight can carry more than 200 passengers, though outbound aircraft have no such restriction on numbers. But the news comes with complexities: both countries require arriving travellers to have obtained a PCR negative Covid‐19 test prior to departure, and while Ghana then undertakes a further test on all passengers prior to them collecting their baggage, Nigeria asks visitors to isolate for seven days and then take a second PCR test before venturing out. The difference in requirements by countries is also a big problem at land borders. Africa CDC, which is trying to see if it can use its African Union (AU) roots to harmonise the process, assesses that 25 countries have pre‐departure requirements for visitors coming into their airports, and six are testing passengers on arrival. (Africa Confidential 11/9)

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          Author and article information

          Africa Research Bulletin: Economic, Financial and Technical Series
          John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
          09 October 2020
          October 2020
          : 57
          : 8 ( doiID: 10.1111/arbe.v57.8 )
          : 23112
          © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

          This article is being made freely available through PubMed Central as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency response. It can be used for unrestricted research re-use and analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source, for the duration of the public health emergency.

          Page count
          Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Pages: 1, Words: 10810
          Policy and Practice
          Policy and Practice
          Economic Trends
          Custom metadata
          October 2020
          Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.9.4 mode:remove_FC converted:19.11.2020


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