African SMEs Through COVID-19: Challenges, Policy Responses and Recommendations

The economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting containment measures could cut by three to eight percentage points the GDP growth of African economies, where small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) account for more than 90 percent of businesses and almost 80 percent of employment. SMEs are certainly impacted by this crisis in Africa where a widespread collapse could reverse the growth achievements of the past few years.

This policy brief highlights the likely adverse effect of COVID-19 on SMEs in Africa. It stresses the key challenges faced by SMEs on the continent and analyzes how these challenges are likely to be exacerbated by COVID-19. It then reviews policy responses, analyzes their limitations and provides further recommendations to support SMEs in Africa through the COVID-19 crisis and ensuing economic recession.

About this Publication

By Omolola Amoussou, Charlotte Karagueuzian & Mamadou Bah