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Covid-19: 6% of African businessmen see their companies not to survive the crisis

Jose Kalathil

NEW DELHI,India: Six per cent of African business profesisonals does not expect the company they work for to survive the Covid-19 crisis. This is the main result of an extended survey conducted by the Africa Business Panel.

According to a press release issued by the Panel about 2/3 of the African companies (62%) say they are struggling but will survive. Almost a third of companies (29%) say they are doing well and the near future is looking good.

One in 25 African companies (4%) is doing better than ever due to the crisis.

There are significant differences between countries. Least optimistic are companies in South Africa; no less than 10 precent of participants working for South African companies don’t expect their company to outlive the Covid-19 crisis.

On the other end of the spectrum is Ghana; only 3 per cent of participants from Ghana fear the company they work for will not survive the criris.

At the same time Ghanaian companies are least able to take advantage of the crisis; none of the Ghanaian participants felt that their company was thriving due to the crisis.

In North Africa, 9 per cent of the companies are doing better than ever due to the crisis, by far the highest score in Africa. South Africa comes in second, having a score of 5 per cent.

A construction worker from Côte d’Ivoire said: “My company is diversified, so for the moment the impact of the crisis is low. But if the crisis is not over very soon, we shall be impacted.”

A worker in the manufacturing sector from South Africa said: “I am wasting my time interacting with Government to secure social security payments for some of my employees. The government is generally unresponsive.”

The hardest blow is expected by the smaller enterprises. Twelve per cent of self employed Africans expect not to survive the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. The larger the company, the better the chances.

Of companies with over 250 employees, only 3 per cent predict their companies’ folding up.

Companies with over 250 employees also have the higest score (5%) for doing better than ever due to the crisis.

As compared to manufacturing and services, trade has the worst outlook. 10 per cent of African trading companies does not expect to survive the crisis versus 6 per cent for manufacturing and 5 per cent for services.

Twentfour per cent of African trade companies are doing fine or better than ever compared with 31 per cent for both manufacturing and services.

A farm worker from Sudan said: “We will need to focus on production and agriculture, as they are the only way out for Africa to grow and lead.’

A services sector worker from Nigeria said: “The economic situation in the country requires urgent application of micro-economic funding for small and medium scale sectors. Tax relief should be given as incentives.”

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