Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a viral disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Since the detection of the first
cases of COVID-19 in late 2019, the disease has become a global emergency with severe implications on lives and livelihoods worldwide. As of January 2021,
COVID-19 has killed 2.2 million people globally and infected more than 100 million.
The virus has devastated the global economy and severely harmed critical pillars of society, including the provision of education and healthcare, and community
activities that are key for physical and mental health. The African continent is no exception. African Union Member States have confirmed almost 90,000 COVID-19 deaths and more than 3.4 million infections. Africa is facing its first recession in 25 years due to the pandemic, with the informal sector (making up 70% of the economy) being the hardest hit. Recession is driven by the contraction of global trade as well as declining continental and domestic economic activities. Research indicates that the pandemic is endangering the success of decades of work towards the achievement of the African development agenda.
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