Articles & Opinions

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Africa COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index

The index informs COVID-19 planning and response, especially among Africa’s most vulnerable regions—those that will struggle to weather a COVID-19 outbreak and its health, economic and social impacts without support. The index assesses seven kinds of vulnerability for 751 regions in 48 countries. The overall index (CCVI) is made up of seven themes: age; epidemiological factors; fragility; strength of health systems; population density; socioeconomic factors; and access to transportation and housing.

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Adjusted projections for COVID-19 in Kenya

Our adjusted model suggests 1.4m people in Nairobi County will be infected with COVID-19 during its life-cycle peaking in September 2020. According to the adjusted model, 102,742 will show symptoms. 8,755 people will need hospitalization over the next year, with 1,505 passing through ICU facilities. 928 will die.

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The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on trade: Recent evidence from East Africa

This paper uses Kenyan trade data published up through May 2020 to provide a preliminary evaluation of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on regional trade in the East African Community (EAC). Paradoxically, given the prevailing pessimism surrounding the prospects for global trade, Kenya actually experienced a significant improvement in exports in the first quarter of the year, together with a moderation of imports, leading to a marked decline in the trade deficit. While the initial shock to Kenyan trade caused by the COVID-19 crisis initially looked dramatic in terms of the declines registered, this paper reveals that i) the shock is not so alarming when seasonality is taken into account; ii) re-exports and imports have been the primary foci of impact; and iii) domestic exports have actually performed extraordinarily well under the circumstances, with incremental growth since 2019.

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Libya: African Development Bank grants $0.5 million emergency relief assistance for PPE protection against COVID-19

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank have approved a grant of $480,000 to Libya under the Special Relief Fund (SRF) for the procurement of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) intended for treatment of cases of infection of the novel Coronavirus. The Bank’s funding will contribute to supporting the country’s national Response Plan for COVID-19. The assistance is intended to focus on infection prevention and control and to shield communities, particularly those most vulnerable including the health workers.

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How Covid-19 has changed grocery shopping

Late March saw long queues outside supermarkets as anxious shoppers waited to stockpile supplies. Three months on the queues are still there; now shoppers, two metres apart and with pockets full of hand sanitiser, are lining up for a socially-distanced visit to the store.

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How to help women workers affected by COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the working lives of just about everyone, but early evidence shows it has hit women the hardest. There is opportunity in the mix of measures forced upon companies and workers, however, and some could help advance the role of women once current restrictions are lifted. The pandemic can’t be allowed to set back the progress made thus far. Instead, changes such as more flexible working hours and work-from-home need to be examples carried over to increase the pace of improvements.

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Learning from the best: Evaluating Africa’s COVID-19 responses

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing health care and disaster management systems of countries and the agility of policy responses to effectively handle a public health catastrophe. Since the first reported case in Africa on February 14, countries in the region have responded to the disease with varying levels of success, with many countries taking the lead in various ways. For example, on March 4, Nigeria was the first African country to sequence the SARS-CoV-2 genome. South Africa is now leading the continent in testing per capita—27,485 tests per million people as of July 1—currently ranked 19th globally.

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Silent spreaders' may be responsible for half of Covid-19 cases, study finds

As the first known healthy carrier of the bacterial disease, which is transmitted by a toxin in feces, Mallon refused to believe she was an asymptomatic conduit for typhoid fever. She refused to give stool samples to authorities and continued to spread the bacteria via her unsanitary ways until she was caught and quarantined twice for a total of 26 years, dying alone without friends.

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How monitoring sewage could prevent a return of the coronavirus

In their efforts to stave off a second wave of COVID-19, scientists from around the world have turned to a new ally: sewage. In the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Spain, researchers are poring over samples of wastewater for signs of the coronavirus, which is believed to be shed in human feces.

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As we emerge from COVID-19, how can we build a better world of work?

As countries around the world emerge from lockdown, many are left wondering how the world will change as a result. The demanding circumstances can be turned into important lessons and vital social change. Every now and again you stumble upon a phrase that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

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How are the youth stepping up to COVID-19 in Africa?

While the COVID-19 pandemic will have devastating health and socioeconomic effects across Africa, it offers the opportunity for young people to rewrite the narrative that they are disengaged and apathetic. Young volunteers across the continent are already playing a role in their communities, using their knowledge of technology and global networks to organise and deliver vital information.

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COVID-19 is exacerbating the global trade finance gap

Least developed countries have been hard hit economically, as borders are closed to trade and tourism. If this continues, they could drift away from global value chains and be left out of the international trade system. International trade and investment are a pivotal component in future economic and financial recovery plans.

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COVID-19 and Its Impact on Contractual Relations: How to Mitigate Damages, Renegotiate Your Contracts and Avoid Disputes (Part IV)

In our previous three articles in this series (see Part I, Part II and Part III) we explored how parties may rely on force majeure clauses, on the doctrines of frustration, impossibility and impracticability of performance or on Material Adverse Change clauses as defences to non-performance or delayed performance resulting from the impact of COVID-19.

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COVID-19: Some Lessons for Hotel Owners

The hospitality industry has arguably, together with the airline industry and the tourism industry, been the most impacted globally by the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. Notwithstanding this, there are several lessons which hotel owners and hotel operators can learn from the disruption created by the Covid-19 pandemic. While the immediate focus in light of Covid-19 has been on performance test and force majeure provisions of a hotel management agreement or franchise agreement, in this article, we highlight some of the other provisions of hotel operating contracts which may have significant commercial and legal implications for hotel owners and developers in light of Covid-19 and which hotel owners should consider when negotiating future hotel operating contracts or re-negotiating existing contracts.

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Breathing new hope into Africa’s fight against COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across Africa, hospitals across the continent face shortages of essential medical supplies needed to treat the respiratory disease and keep patients alive. Not just masks and ventilators, but oxygen.

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Gendered Fight Against COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa

The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is shining a green light on women’s leadership skills. With only 20 countries led by women, female voices are being obscured in a crisis that disproportionately affects women.

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WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 29 June 2020

Tomorrow marks six months since WHO received the first reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in China. The six-month anniversary of the outbreak coincides with reaching 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths. This is a moment for all of us to reflect on the progress we have made and the lessons we have learned, and to recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to save lives.

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Africa’s COVID-19 Moment: How Youth Startups Are Addressing the Pandemic

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the world’s youngest population, and one that is increasingly well-educated and teeming with innovative talent and entrepreneurial drive. Almost as soon as the COVID-19 alarm rang, long before African governments and their development partners realized it, Africa’s startups saw opportunities and sprang into action. While policymakers and donors were considering the procurement of hundreds of millions of dollars in medical supplies from around the world, and convening response consultations with high-level teams and experts, these young entrepreneurs were already addressing the pandemic’s effects on the ground.

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Africa is more resilient than you think

Despite apocalyptic predictions, Africa may be better positioned than many think to weather the combined shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, collapsing commodity prices, and global economic recession, assuming its leaders act wisely. While African economies’ performance has varied, overall progress during the last two decades has made the continent more resilient than ever before.

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Coronavirus: How to Reopen Travel Safely

The current plans to reopen EU countries are too blunt. Citizens from different countries are either blocked or fully allowed to travel. This will result in new outbreaks. Instead, there should be tiers of countries based on best guesses on prevalence and value per visitor. Within that, higher value visitors such as those owning a home should be treated differently. There is no excuse for lack of PCR tests. European countries with special situations, such as Sweden, Portugal or the UK should be treated separately.

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Global macroeconomic scenarios of the COVID-19 pandemic

In late 2019, a novel coronavirus was causing infections in China. The virus had close virological characteristics to the coronavirus that caused SARS (SARS-CoV) and was named SARS-CoV-2. Even though the SARS-CoV-2 has been less fatal than SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 has been much more infectious. Very quickly after the Chinese outbreak, other countries began reporting cases. The evolving epidemic was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020.

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Coronavirus: Now is the time to invest in Africa’s creative industries

Despite the effects of COVID-19, Africa’s young creative industries remain ripe for investment opportunities. African music, film, and fashion continue to gain global popularity, with companies like Netflix and Universal Music Group expanding their presence on the continent.

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Deloitte BrandVoice: Resilient Generations Hold The Key To Creating A “Better Normal

It’s too early to know how the COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately change society. But the response of millennials and Generation Z, battle-hardened and steadfast in maintaining their values, will be key. The 2020 Deloitte Global Millennial Survey reveals a younger generation whose resilience and determination will surely shape the world that emerges.

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Coronavirus: How Africa's supply chains are evolving

The coronavirus lockdown measures imposed by governments around the world have caused severe disruption to supply chains, as companies were forced to shut in March.

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UN Women supports Maasai women-led enterprises to respond to COVID-19

The Ngorongoro district in Arusha region is a land of craters, sacred forests and mountains, wild animals and the Maasai people. This community has learnt to co-exist with nature, sharing land, wild food, herbs and water with the wild animals that roam freely.

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Reopening from the Great Lockdown: Uneven and Uncertain Recovery

he COVID-19 pandemic pushed economies into a Great Lockdown, which helped contain the virus and save lives, but also triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. Over 75 percent of countries are now reopening at the same time as the pandemic is intensifying in many emerging market and developing economies. Several countries have started to recover. However, in the absence of a medical solution, the strength of the recovery is highly uncertain and the impact on sectors and countries uneven.

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What’s At Risk: An 18-Month View of a Post-COVID World

As the world continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19, no part of society seems to be left unscathed. Fears are surmounting around the economy’s health, and dramatic changes in life as we know it are also underway.

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The technologies - and thoughtful collaborations - that can build resilience in the food system after COVID-19

COVID-19 has highlighted a number of global vulnerabilities, including those connected to food supplies. New mindsets, collaborations and technological applications will be needed to ensure a just, sustainable and resilient food system in the long term. COVID-19 didn't just empty grocery shelves across much of the so-called “developed world.” It weakened already precarious systems in some regions leading to what the UN has called "historic" setbacks in the fight against hunger.

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How does informality aggravate the impact of COVID-19?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is expected to take an especially heavy toll on emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs1) that have large informal sectors. Informal workers and firms are often not registered with the government and have no access to government benefits. Informality is associated with underdevelopment in a wide range of areas, such as widespread poverty, lack of access to financial systems, deficient public health and medical resources, and weak social safety nets. These vulnerabilities have amplified the economic shock to livelihoods in the face of COVID-19 and will push millions of people into extreme poverty, with a particularly severe impact on women.

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COVID-19, locusts, flooding: WHO and triple threat in Somalia

In Somalia, there are some days when the sky suddenly darkens as hundreds of millions of hungry desert locusts descend over the country’s crops. This year’s locust outbreak is Somalia’s worst in 25 years, threatening the food supply, and prompting the government to declare a national emergency in February. The infestation was exacerbated by heavy floods that have displaced half a million people and created an ideal breeding ground for the locusts. To that nightmare scenario, add a pandemic. A pandemic in a country already fighting many serious threats, such as terrorist groups who control large parts of rural areas, or the widespread corruption in the country.

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Seychelles: African Development Bank extends $10 million loan to support COVID-19 responses as economy reopens

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Monday approved a $10 million loan to the Republic of Seychelles to support the government’s COVID-19 response program. The loan will be channeled toward macroeconomic stabilization, strengthening national health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and safeguarding livelihoods and social safety nets. Against a backdrop of declining revenues, the Seychelles government recently amended its budget to respond more effectively to COVID-19, taking on an immense financial burden as it works to enhance the country’s health systems, mitigate job losses, and redress lost business and household incomes.

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African Development Bank approves EUR 88 million loan to Cameroon to finance COVID-19 response

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Monday approved a EUR 88 million loan to Cameroon as direct budget support to finance the country’s COVID-19 crisis response. The loan, to the country’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Budget Support Programme (PABRC), falls under the framework of the Bank’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF) of up to $10 billion, the institution’s main channel to cushion African countries from the economic and health impacts of the crisis.

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COVID-19: 3 myths and 5 solutions for the future of multilateralism

The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down one-third of the global economy and triggered the largest economic shock since the Great Depression. The recovery requires collective leadership, write Bertrand Badré, a former Managing Director of the World Bank and Yves Tiberghien, co-chair of the Vision 20 Initiative.

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Seychelles: African Development Bank extends $10 million loan to support COVID-19 responses as economy reopens

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Monday approved a $10 million loan to the Republic of Seychelles to support the government’s COVID-19 response program. The loan will be channeled toward macroeconomic stabilization, strengthening national health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and safeguarding livelihoods and social safety nets.

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Legal Alert | Preparing for a Safe Return to Work

Most countries around the world have slowly begun to ease their COVID-19 lockdown restrictions; curfews are being lifted, borders are reopening and certain businesses including airlines and restaurants are resuming operations after months of closure. The current daily curfew and travel restrictions which are in force in Kenya were slightly relaxed on 6 June 2020 and whilst we cannot anticipate whether these will be completely lifted, the restrictions will likely be gradually further eased. It is therefore expected that most businesses will begin to reopen over the next few months. Accordingly, employers need to begin putting in place measures to ensure the health and safety of their employees as the return back to the workplace.

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Economic impact of COVID-19: Protecting Africa’s food systems from farm to fork

The global spread of COVID-19 and the rising number of confirmed cases in Africa have raised concerns about the weak health care systems in the region, while the lockdowns have caused economies to contract substantially. Receiving less public attention, and yet also putting at risk lives and livelihoods, is the likelihood that COVID-19 and the associated economic challenges will spill into an African food crisis if the food system cannot cope. Half of Africans already face food insecurity, of which 50 percent are severely food insecure, while the number of people who are hungry is likely to double in 2020.

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African Development Bank approves $4 million grant to bolster South Sudan’s COVID-19 response

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Wednesday approved a UA 3 million ($4.16 million) grant to South Sudan to support the emergency response to COVID-19 and strengthen the country’s fragile health system. The grant, from the Transitional Support Facility of the Bank Group’s African Development Fund, will provide funding for the project to enhance the capacity of South Sudan’s health facilities and to bolster the country’s capacity to detect cases and curb the spread of the virus.

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COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 17 June

This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected. Today's top stories: India's case fatality rate spikes, Beijing raises health alert and a drug breakthrough that reduces COVID-19 deaths.

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African Countries are Still Waiting for a Surge in Covid-19 Cases.

On January 28, at around one in the morning, Dr. John Nkengasong's cellphone rang in Addis Ababa. Nigerian officials told Nkengasong, the Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that a recently arrived Italian businessman had tested positive for Covid-19. He later recovered. But the force of infection, mostly coming from Europe, seeded the virus in countries throughout the continent, say health officials. As imported cases increased, and community transmission began, the World Health Organization began sounding the alarm in press conferences and statements about an unfolding crisis on the continent. They said Covid-19 patients could quickly overwhelm the weak health infrastructure. Melinda Gates, in an interview with CNN, went even further in April.

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Protect landscapes to protect humanity

COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it jumps between animals and people, and is therefore closely connected to the lands both inhabit. Human and economic activity is eroding wild spaces, forests and other important ecosystems, bringing us closer to “reservoir hosts”—animals and plants that can harbour diseases. In this interview.

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WHO welcomes preliminary results about dexamethasone use in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients

The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes the initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom (UK) that show dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19. For patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth, according to preliminary findings shared with WHO. The benefit was only seen in patients seriously ill with COVID-19, and was not observed in patients with milder disease.

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Strengthening Africa’s Best Pandemic Defense

Ensuring that the continent’s small and medium-size enterprises have access to the capital and expertise they need is critical to combating COVID-19 effectively. African-owned solutions that are adapted to local conditions and create valuable employment opportunities may be the key to mitigating the pandemic’s economic impact.

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Combating COVID-19: How Should Banking Supervisors Respond?

The massive macro-financial shock caused by the pandemic continues to ravage the global economy and has put both banks and borrowers under severe strain. Supervisors find themselves confronted with unprecedented challenges which call for decisive action to ensure that banking systems support the real economy while preserving financial stability. This blog introduces nine joint IMF-World Bank recommendations to help supervisors navigate these uncharted waters and calls for vigilance regarding policy measures taken that are not consistent with international standards. This is critical to prevent the health and economic crisis morphing into a financial crisis.

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East Africa’s Rebound: How Businesses Can Emerge Stronger from COVID-19, and How Governments Can Support Them

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we help clients with total transformation—inspiring complex change, enabling organizations to grow, building competitive advantage, and driving bottom-line impact.To succeed, organizations must blend digital and human capabilities. Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives to spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting along with technology and design, corporate and digital ventures—and business purpose. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, generating results that allow our clients to thrive.

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Can African democracies protect the lives of the most vulnerable?

Corruption, state capture, extravagant expenditure, poor leadership and lack of respect for the rule of law are among the non-sustainable, endangering and risky patterns of behaviour endemic across Africa. Caring for the common good, for our neighbours, and for the country is essential for sustainability, for the preservation of this generation and future generations. Care is built on empathy. Sadly, Covid-19 has laid bare not only our health sector’s lack of preparedness but also our lack of empathy, our apathy.

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African Development Bank COVID-19 response: moving from commitment to action

The African Development Bank has responded swiftly to the needs of its member countries during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Bank’s operations have continued to run smoothly since the first cases appeared in early March, despite the wide range of lockdowns and measures imposed by governments to flatten the curve. The COVID-19 pandemic is forecast to cause Africa’s GDP to drop by between $22.1 billion and $88.3 billion.

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Corporate Governance Authorities Issue Guidelines on Holding of Virtual General Meetings in Light of COVID-19

In light of COVID-19, several guidelines have been issued by various authorities for the conduct of virtual meetings. The Institute of Certified Secretaries has issued Governance Guideline for Virtual Meetings (the Guidelines). All virtual meetings must be permitted and organisations must document policies and procedures guiding virtual meetings. Organisations can opt for hybrid meetings, proxy forms and circular resolutions where they are unable to hold a fully virtual meeting to allow for full participation.

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Enhancing digital capabilities in a post-COVID-19 world

The ongoing pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of digital technologies. While private sector firms consider digital capabilities as a core driver of competitiveness, this is still a relatively new concept for governments. What are digital capabilities? They can be visualized as the “glue” linking together the five pillars of the digital economy: digital infrastructure, digital platforms, digital entrepreneurhip, digital financial services, and digital skills. In today’s digital age, digital capabilities are a prerequisite to the transformation of our nations and our economies.

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Covid-19 in Africa: Youth at the Fore

Covid-19 is among the deadliest pandemics the world has experienced in recent history. The African continent has, thus far, fared comparatively well with just under 150,000 confirmed infections and about 5,000 fatalities as of early June 2020.1 Even so, the heavy economic, social, and emotional toll of the pandemic on the continent is already clear, and some analysts estimate that the situation will worsen in the coming months. Given its underresourced health-care systems and lack of social safety nets, Africa’s best hope for mitigating the spread of Covid-19 lies in community-based prevention efforts. This will require very strong locally led campaigns of information dissemination, along with community mobilization and sensitization. We contend that Africa’s large youth population must play a prominent role as key drivers in the fight against the pandemic. Moreover, we argue for prevention interventions that are germane to communities’ social and cultural values in order for them to be fully engrained in their everyday life praxis.

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How can we protect the world’s poor from coronavirus and its economic effects?

COVID-19 could spark a global recession, reversing up to three decades of improvements in living standards. According to one estimate, 420-580 million people worldwide could be pushed into poverty. It's vital that governing bodies and world banks work together to support the countries than are unable to support themselves, write two former world leaders and two economists.

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Somalia: African Development Bank’s Intervention Helps to Curb COVID-19 in Vulnerable Communities

With 2.6 million internally displaced persons in Somalia, the outbreak of COVID-19 poses an additional challenge in an already fragile situation, leaving the population highly vulnerable. Thankfully, the African Development Bank-financed water supply and sanitation project came in handy as a critical control intervention, although COVID-19 was not anticipated in 2016 when the project was launched.

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Strengthening Economic Institutions for a Resilient Recovery

Exceptional times call for exceptional action. In response to COVID-19, the IMF has moved with unprecedented speed and magnitude of financial assistance to help countries protect lives and livelihoods. Economic stabilization and a sustainable recovery, however, will require more than financial assistance. For recovery to be sustainable, policymakers will need to strengthen economic institutions that enable resilient, inclusive policies.

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How to avoid the virus as the world reopens

The lifting of lockdowns is posing an urgent question for people emerging warily back into society: where are they most at risk of contracting coronavirus? The dangers vary greatly with activity and it is not always clear that members of the public, or indeed the authorities, are gauging the hazards accurately, say experts.

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Coronavirus: Should We Aim for Herd Immunity Like Sweden?

Sweden has famously followed a different coronavirus strategy than most of the rest of the Developed world: Let the virus run loose, curb it enough to make sure it doesn’t overwhelm the healthcare system like in Hubei, Italy or Spain, but don’t try to eliminate it. They think stopping it completely is impossible. The natural consequence is that most citizens get infected, and that eventually slows down the epidemic. That’s why, in short, people call that strategy “Herd Immunity”.

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Sovereign wealth funds could increase equality in a post-COVID world

For decades, global economic leaders touted the benefits of globalization, such as increased cross-border trade or reduced global inequalities. The 2010s, however, saw a rise in political nationalism, as the reduction in global economic inequality had led to an increase in much national inequality. As a result, globalization had become an easy target with free trade deals painted as an evil spectre meant to steal your job. The fact that a trade deal could result in job losses, can be better attributed to weak social systems unable to cope with the brunt of demand for new job opportunities than opening the global economy. As the world explores the changes needed for a “great reset” – as set forth by Professor Klaus Schwab – a top priority must be to allow for proper and equitable access to financial markets.

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Powering up sustainable energy

Thomas Edison upended the world with his novel idea for an electric utility that would centrally power homes and industry. One hundred forty years later, the power industry has been quietly decarbonizing, even as it remains a marvel of efficiency and reliability. As economies gradually feel their way to the “next normal” that is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic—which has curtailed commercial and industrial demand, created new volatility in markets for fossil fuels, and required operational changes to ensure employee safety—industry operators may need to recalibrate the speed and scope of ongoing efforts to curb climate change.

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For people on the front lines of climate change and conflict, COVID-19 is a new challenge

Sababil Al-Haj Hussain lives in the Sudanese locality of Al Rahad, which sits in the middle of a semi-arid ribbon of land known as the Sahel. Life there has long been challenging. The area is prone to both droughts, which are being made more severe by climate change, and conflicts between farmers and animal herders over the shrinking availability of fertile land. The situation has led many men to migrate away from Al Rahad in search of new job opportunities, leaving women behind to care for their families. In the absence of men, many women have taken on new economic responsibilities to make up for lost income, but remain largely excluded from the decision-making bodies that manage natural resources and local disputes.

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COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 8 June

This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected. Today's headlines: Coronavirus deaths pass 400,000; Saudi cases pass 100,000; Some Hydroxychloroquine trials move forward after others halted.

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Pandemic, Recession: The Global Economy in Crisis

COVID-19 has triggered the deepest global recession in decades. While the ultimate outcome is still uncertain, the pandemic will result in contractions across the vast majority of emerging market and developing economies. It will also do lasting damage to labor productivity and potential output. The immediate policy priorities are to alleviate the human costs and atenuate the near-term economic losses. Once the crisis abates, it will be necessary to reaffirm credible commitment to sustainable policies and undertake the necessary reforms to buttress long-term prospects. Global coordination and cooperation will be critical.

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Private equity and the post-COVID-19 economic recovery in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Friday approved a $288.5 million loan to help Nigeria tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact on people and businesses. The loan will bolster the government’s plans to improve surveillance and response to COVID-19 emergencies, ease the impact on workers and businesses and strengthen the social protection system.

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When the law falls silent: Evictions in the time of Covid-19

While academic debates continue about how to define the rule of law, its absence is almost always universally acknowledged. Like good leadership, it is most appreciated when absent. An element of the rule of law that is not disputed is that the exercise of arbitrary power must be constrained by subordinating it to well-defined, established and enforceable laws.

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COVID-19 and Its Impact on Contractual Relations: How to Mitigate Damages, Renegotiate Your Contracts and Avoid Disputes (Part III)

In our previous two articles in this series, we covered how parties may rely on force majeure clauses or on the doctrines of frustration, impossibility or impracticability of performance as defences to non-performance or delayed performance as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. Part III explores how parties may be able to rely on Material Adverse Change or Event clauses, which are regularly found in certain types of agreements, such as investment agreements, project financing documents and debt arrangements.

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Kenya, UK partner to address Covid-19 using science

Kenyans and Britons alike have been forced to change their way of life by the coronavirus that is sweeping across the world. The immediate impacts of the virus can be severe, but the secondary impacts—on jobs, livelihoods, our children’s education, higher learning—are also apparent.

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Lifelines in Danger

The COVID-19 pandemic is crippling the economies of rich and poor countries alike. Yet for many low-income and fragile states, the economic shock will be magnified by the loss of remittances—money sent home by migrant and guest workers employed in foreign countries.

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The Economic Impact of COVID-19: After Record Unemployment, Countries around the World Begin to Reopen Industries

The COVID-19 pandemic has so far infected more than 6.2 million people and claimed over 379,000 lives and has also brought massive job loss, unprecedented drops in remittances, and recessions to countries in developing regions. It seems like every third article we read this week included a striking historical comparison: the lowest remittances in a decade, the worst contraction since the financial crisis, the worst month in recorded history. In the face of enormous economic impacts, more countries are taking first steps to reopen their economies.

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Preventing pandemics: new report on zoonotics to be released in July

In the last century, a combination of population growth and reduction in ecosystems and biodiversity has created unprecedented opportunities for zoonotic diseases - where pathogens pass between animals and people. In 2016, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) flagged a worldwide increase in zoonotic epidemics.

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African Development Bank approves $288.5 million for Nigeria COVID-19 Response Support Program

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Friday approved a $288.5 million loan to help Nigeria tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact on people and businesses. The loan will bolster the government’s plans to improve surveillance and response to COVID-19 emergencies, ease the impact on workers and businesses and strengthen the social protection system.

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Enhancing Resilience in African Economies: Policy Responses to the COVID19 Pandemic in Africa

The vulnerability of any population to COVID19 is linked to the demographic structure of the population, and associated vulnerabilities, due to underlying health conditions which aggravate the impact of the virus on the body’s system. Mortality rates in China, South-East Asia and a number of European countries show that older people are much more likely to be severely affected by COVID19, and to die from the infection, than younger people. Amongst elder people, men are twice as likely to die as women. Underlying health conditions of particular relevance include lung disease, diabetes, heart-related problems, and other consequences of obesity. People under the age of 60 are much less likely to die from infection by the virus. Although there are a significant number of deaths amongst younger people, they are often associated with pre-existing health problems. In this way, the COVID19 virus is quite different from the 1918-19 influenza pandemic which led to 50 million deaths worldwide, since this preferentially attacked and killed young people.

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How the Great Lockdown Saved Lives

Since the COVID-19 outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, China in late December 2019, the disease has spread to more than 200 countries and territories. In the absence of a vaccine or effective treatment, governments worldwide have responded by implementing unprecedented containment and mitigation measures—the Great Lockdown. This in turn has resulted in large short-term economic losses, and a decline in global economic activity not seen since the Great Depression. Did it work?

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COVID-19: Briefing Materials, Global Health and Crisis Response

COVID-19 is, first and foremost, a global humanitarian challenge. Thousands of health professionals are heroically battling the virus, putting their own lives at risk. Governments and industry are working together to understand and address the challenge, support victims and their families and communities, and search for treatments and a vaccine.

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Senegal: AfDB approves 88 million euros emergency budget support for COVID-19 response

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Friday approved a loan of 88 million euros to Senegal, hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic, in support of the costs of its national COVID-19 Economic and Social Resilience Program.

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What COVID-19 means for ecotourism

For decades, ecotourism has helped to conserve nature and protect endangered species. COVID-19 and the subsequent closure of ecotourism sites has had an indelible impact on wildlife and the communities that protect it.

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COVID-19 is causing a global food crisis. This is how to address

COVID-19 has exposed just how vulnerable our global food systems are. The pandemic has accelerated the risk of famine as lockdown measures have impacted on incomes and trade. Ban Ki-moon, the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Dag-Inge Ulstein, Norway’s Minister of International Development explain what steps can be taken.

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Reimagining the real estate industry for the next normal

It’s long been said that three things matter in real estate: location, location, location. But based on trends that have been reshaping other industries, competition in real estate has spread to another area: customer experience.

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Novel working arrangements: Employment laws and Covid-19

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), full or partial lockdown measures around the world are affecting almost 2.7 billion workers representing about 81 percent of the global workforce. The Covid-19 crisis is expected to wipe out 6.7 per cent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020, equivalent to 195 million full-time workers.

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Making commercial laws in Kenya adaptable to deal with pandemic

The laws governing businesses in Kenya are numerous and broad and sometimes operate differently, which can often times give rise to inconsistencies and lack of clarity, to consternation of those subject to the myriad of laws. However, during this pandemic period, acting within the confines of the law has become more and more challenging for businesses due to the disruptions caused by Covid-19.

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Making insolvency laws in Kenya more suitable in the face of Covid-19

The economic downturn resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges to businesses and brought into sharp focus the difficulties businesses are facing. It is no longer ‘business as usual’. To cushion their economies from the effects of the pandemic, countries around the world, Kenya included, are taking measures aimed at resuscitating businesses.

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Contact Tracing: the Way Out of Lockdown?

Several debates on the StopCovid digital tracking application have taken up a lot of space in French press columns in recent weeks. Although the application should be available at the beginning of June, a new system has been built in parallel: the manual monitoring of infected persons through "health brigades" armed with two databases - Covid Contact and a screening information system called "SI-DEP". While both of these systems have the same goal, i.e. to identify cases of possible transmission so that they can be isolated and tested, the two systems should not be functioning entirely independently of one another, nor should two separate systems keep tracking from being clear and effective.

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Keeping Economic Data Flowing During COVID-19

Accurate and timely economic data are crucial for informing policy decisions, especially during a crisis. But the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the production of many key statistics. Without reliable data, policymakers cannot assess how badly the pandemic is hurting people and the economy, nor can they properly monitor the recovery. We are working with member countries and other international agencies to address these data disruptions and keep economic data flowing.

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COVID-19: Four Sustainable Development Goals that help future-proof global recovery

“The global coronavirus pandemic, which has already caused unimaginable devastation and hardship, has brought our way of life to an almost complete halt. The outbreak will have profound and lasting economic and social consequences in every corner of the globe,” says United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen.

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COVID-19 and Its Impact on Contractual Relations: How to Mitigate Damages, Renegotiate Your Contracts and Avoid Disputes (Part II)

The COVID-19 pandemic and Government-imposed measures to contain its spread have triggered a large-scale disruption of the Kenyan economy, leading to a slowdown in many sectors. Given the local and global effects of the pandemic, businesses are grappling with their inability to meet their obligations under existing contracts.

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Preparing a will during Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in the number of people making or updating their wills. The virus brings into sharp focus the importance of succession planning and putting a will in place. After all, it is prudent to set out your wishes as to who should inherit from your estate rather than letting the intestacy provisions under the Law of Succession Act of Kenya dictate who your estate should vest in the unfortunate event of death.

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Science points to causes of COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a zoonotic disease. Zoonotic diseases are transmitted between animals and humans. Diseases passed from animals to humans are a significant threat to human health. When the symptoms are serious, our lack of prior exposure means humans have no existing antibodies to defend themselves against the disease. Recent zoonotic disease outbreaks include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS (2002); Avian Influenza or bird flu (2004); H1N1 or Swine Flu (2009); Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS (2012); Ebola (2014– 2015); Zika virus (2015–2016); and the West Nile virus (2019).

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Mauritius: African Development Bank lends €188 million for COVID-19 fight

The African Development Bank has approved a €188 mllion euro loan to the Republic of Mauritius to finance a national budget support programme to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group’s Board of Directors said Friday. The main aim of the Covid-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF), established by the Mauritian Government, is to support the national response fighting the ongoing outbreak, and to mitigate the adverse economic and social effects of the disease. The response is based on three pillars: to consolidate health systems; to protect livelihoods, income security and access to essential goods and services; and to build a resilient private sector as a prelude to the recovery of the economy.

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Kenya: €188m African Development Bank loan to boost COVID-19 response

The loan will extend additional resources to Kenya as the country takes steps to contain the spread of the pandemic and deal with its unprecedented impact. It follows a request by the Government of Kenya, as part of its COVID-19 Emergency Response intervention, to help contain the scourge.

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Coronavirus: Improving resilience in West African food systems

West African governments are responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19) by closing borders, banning foreign travellers, closing schools and implementing curfews to stop the spread of the virus. Many economic sectors in West Africa such as tourism, transport and entertainment, have slowed to a near standstill, putting millions of jobs at risk.

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Revealing the Toll of COVID-19: A Technical Package for Rapid Mortality Surveillance and Epidemic Response, May 2020, World Health Organisation

The number of COVID-19 related deaths has become a key indicator to track the impact of the pandemic in countries and across the world. However, this number is not easily collected and reported by every country. To support national governments with surveillance and response planning, WHO has partnered with Vital Strategies and other global partners to launch a new technical package: Revealing the Toll of COVID-19: A Technical Package for Rapid Mortality Surveillance and Epidemic Response.

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New Zealand Prime Minister opens door to 4-day working week

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on global tourism, particularly in New Zealand, where tourism is the biggest export. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested businesses could shift to a four-day working week to boost domestic tourism. The government has announced a USD $244 million Tourism Recovery Fund and will advise businesses on how to pivot to the domestic market. One New Zealand company that adopted a four-day working week in 2018 found it improved workers’ well-being, while boosting productivity.

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Recovering from COVID-19: these are the risks to anticipate now - before it's too late

The Forum asked 350 of the world's top risk experts to assess the most likely and most concerning fallout risks from COVID-19 over the next 18 months. The findings highlight: the economy, cybersecurity, environment and social anxiety as the top concerns. The perceived emerging risks serve as a warning of how things could turn out if handled poorly, but they offer a means to change direction before it is too late.

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The Covid-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 and the Quarantine Act 2020 | Presentation

This presentation looks at: Amendments to 56 existing primary enactments • Regulations to flesh out details of certain amendments • Regulations to prevent resurgence of epidemics and transmission of infectious diseases • Regulations to provide for sanitary measures in the transport industry • Repeal of Quarantine Act 1954 and enactment of more detailed Quarantine Act 2020 • Tougher penalties for offences committed under the Quarantine Act 2020 and public health legislation • Potential issues of human rights.

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The Covid-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 and the Quarantine Act 2020: A Legislative Programme to Combat the Pandemic | Publication

Shortly after the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Mauritius, the Prime Minister announced that the country would be in confinement as from 20 March 2020. At the time of writing, we are still in a state of sanitary curfew until 01 June 2020 although certain activities have been allowed to re-open since 15 May 2020. The fallout from COVID-19 having reached our shores has led to heightened concerns about public health and protection of the population from a second wave of infections, as well as a damaged economy in need of a relaunch.

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Egypt, COVID-19, and the economy: A combustible mix?

Egyptians, known throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for their flamboyant Ramadan celebrations, are experiencing a more subdued month of fasting this year. If the lack of merriment were the only casualty in the time of COVID-19, it might be tolerable. But the expected economic and social fallout is daunting.

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Post-pandemic BBI should focus on a stronger state

The necessity for the rule of law is impressed upon us at this time as a result of the manner in which the virus has revealed the State’s glaring weaknesses. It therefore behoves us to look into the BBI, and to contextualise it in Kenya’s rule of law history.

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How can we prevent a COVID-19 food crisis?”

Even before the pandemic, there were signs that global food prices could soon surge. Extreme weather events induced by climate change have become more common. African swine fever wiped out over one-quarter of the world’s pig population last year, causing food prices in China to increase by 15-22% year-on-year so far in 2020. And, more recently, the worst locust blight in 70 years has destroyed crops in East Africa. In Kenya, the price of maize, a staple food, has risen by over 60% since 2019.

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What African Nations Are Teaching the West About Fighting the Coronavirus

In early March, Ingrid Gercama left her home in the Netherlands and flew to war-torn South Sudan. An applied-research anthropologist with a special interest in epidemics, she had spent time on the African continent during a public-health emergency before, remaining in Liberia, in 2014, during that country’s Ebola outbreak.

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How company law must adapt in the time of Covid-19

Covid-19 is not to be offhandedly dismissed. It has egregiously affected small, medium and multinational businesses alike and put to the test how we transact and do business domestically and internationally. There has perhaps not been a greater incentive to transform business culture than presented by this pandemic.

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WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 15 May 2020

Researchers are working at breakneck speed both to understand the virus and also to develop potential vaccines, medicines and other technologies. The Access to COVID-19 Accelerator is uniting efforts on many fronts to ensure we have safe, effective and affordable therapeutics and vaccines in the shortest time possible.

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The Impact of COVID-19 on the Manufacturing Sector in Kenya

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented health and economic challenges across the world. While the greatest effect of the pandemic has been loss of life and strain on health facilities, businesses have not been spared.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Contractual Relations: How to Mitigate Damages, Renegotiate Contracts and Avoid Disputes (Part 1)

In response to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Kenya, the Government has implemented various measures and restrictions to contain the spread of the virus across the country. These include cessation of movement into and out of four counties, as well as travel restrictions with a general embargo on international passenger flights. Both the pandemic and restrictions imposed by the Government have triggered a large-scale disruption of the Kenyan economy, leading to a slowdown in many sectors, and in particular in the tourism, hospitality, trade and transport industries. Given the local and global effects of the pandemic, businesses are grappling with their inability to meet their obligations under existing contracts.

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Morocco and Covid-19: Agility, cohesion, innovation

The Covid-19 made its mark and forced the global economy to slow down, raising fears of the worst consequences for production, jobs and the immediate future of developing economies. Fiscal and monetary authorities around the world engage in policies to support economies, with funds and initiatives.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Contractual Relations: How to Mitigate Damages, Renegotiate Contracts and Avoid Disputes (Part I)

In response to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Kenya, the Government has implemented various measures and restrictions to contain the spread of the virus across the country. These include cessation of movement into and out of four counties, namely Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale, a nation-wide curfew between the hours of 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and travel restrictions with a general embargo on international passenger flights.

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Coronavirus: Prevent Seeding and Spreading

Countries are reopening. They want to imitate the success of countries like South Korea or Taiwan. We now know they can do that with great testing and contact tracing, isolations and quarantines, by mandating home-made masks, with hygiene, physical distancing and public education.

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Recent Economic Measures Taken by the Ethiopian Government in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The adverse effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic (the “Pandemic”) have resulted in not only health and social crises, but also in huge economic problems. As countries have closed their borders, export trade has been seriously impacted. The tourism industry is also highly affected as it closely dependent on global movement of peoples and the inbound flow of FDI has been severely affected. The reliable estimate of the extent of the damage is yet to be determined. To mitigate the adverse effect of the Pandemic on the economy, the government has decided to provide financial assistance to the business community.

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How nutrition can protect people’s health during COVID-19

Now, with so many people falling ill from the coronavirus (COVID-19), unhealthy diets are contributing to pre-existing conditions that put them more at risk. And in much of the world, illness also means loss of income. Hence the pandemic has raised the stakes for consumers, producers and policy makers worldwide. What would it take to get healthy food right? Answers to this question are as pressing and relevant as ever.

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Figures of the week: Africa’s fiscal response to COVID-19

In April, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa published “COVID-19 in Africa: Protecting Lives and Economies,” which analyzes the potential human and economic cost of the pandemic in Africa, and argues that strong partnerships—both regional and international—will be needed to reduce the impact of the crisis. In particular, the report states that continued trade, medical cooperation—including the sharing of intellectual property on testing kits and vaccines—and innovative financing facilities from development finance institutions can play a crucial role in saving lives and bolstering economies.

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3 ways COVID-19 could actually spark a better future for Africa

In 1990, when Cameroon's football team did the unthinkable and beat Argentina in the World Cup, the proportion of the world's population living below the poverty line was 35.9%. Fast-forward 35 years to 2015, following a global adoption of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this figure now stands at 10%. To use the concept of a universal benevolent dictator – a classic assumption in beginner economic courses to escape the complexities of real-world decision-making – such a person would no doubt have said, "The world is doing infinitely better!”

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The Covid crisis will delay but not derail the energy transition

The world is grappling with an unprecedented health crisis that has triggered the worst economic recession of the century. Be it manufacturing, supply chain, exports or project execution, the entire business ecosystem experienced a sudden collapse. Energy demand, which is directly linked to economic activity, also contracted. But not surprisingly, the great lockdown had a more dramatic impact on oil demand than electricity. For instance in the UK, the electricity consumption is down by around 13%, while oil demand could have roughly decreased by half.

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Serving Member Countries COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance

The IMF is providing emergency financial assistance and debt relief to member countries facing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tables below include emergency financing approved by the IMF’s Executive Board under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), as well as augmentation of existing financing arrangements. Debt relief grants, financed by the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), are also shown below.

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The World Bank Predicts Areas Most at Risk to Coronavirus

Whilst wealthier citizens across the globe are able to self-isolate during lockdown, for many people, this is simply not possible. The World Bank has identified hotspots where the inhabitants are at high risk of being in contact with coronavirus.

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Balancing act in real estate issues and Covid-19

As a result of reduced economic activity and containment measures during the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in reduced incomes, various issues relating to the real estate sector, including landlord and tenant concerns, have arisen across the country. In order to ameliorate the impact, various interventions, including to the extent necessary, legislative interventions, are required.

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The Mauritian response to COVID-19: Rapid bold actions in the right direction

The government of Mauritius responded early to the COVID-19 pandemic with stringent lockdown measures and saw a drastic reduction in new cases. This column examines the Mauritian response and estimates that the measures led to an 80% reduction in the coronavirus transmission rate. A well-implemented and early ‘hard lockdown’ can be effective in managing the spread of COVID-19.

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A case for legal certainty in a time of Covid-19

The Covid-19 outbreak in Kenya has caused widespread disruption to daily lives and the manner in which businesses operate. It is evident that urgent legislative responses are required to cushion against the far reaching effects that Covid-19 has and continues to have on individuals and businesses in Kenya.

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COVID-19 in Somalia: A Public Health Emergency in an Electoral Minefield

The coronavirus pandemic could pose a huge challenge to Somalia. To manage the crisis, the federal government should reach out to and coordinate with political rivals. It should avoid a unilateral postponement of elections due in November, which could trigger a violent backlash.

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WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 8 May 2020

Until it was wiped out, smallpox had plagued humanity for at least 3000 years, killing 300 million people in the 20th century alone. Its eradication stands as the greatest public health triumph in history. As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity’s victory over smallpox is a reminder of what is possible when nations come together to fight a common health threat.

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Building Food Security During the Pandemic

Protecting food supply chains is the key missing component of an effective COVID-19 strategy. Global partnerships – particularly among the private sector, governments, development banks, and farmers’ organizations – must be established rapidly to prevent a catastrophic food crisis in developing countries.

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La Banque africaine de développement adopte une série de mesures pour soutenir les économies africaines contre les conséquences du Covid-19

La Banque africaine de développement mobilise des moyens d’une ampleur exceptionnelle pour atténuer les conséquences de la pandémie du Coronavirus (Covid-19) sur les économies africaines. Selon les estimations de la Banque, la pandémie pourrait entrainer une baisse du produit intérieur brut (PIB) africain de l’ordre de 22,1 à 88 milliards. Les conséquences du Covid-19 pourraient provoquer une contraction du PIB africain de 0,7 à 2,8 points de pourcentage en 2020, ajoutent les prévisions de la Banque.

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Rapid Revenue Recovery: A road map for post-COVID-19 growth

COVID-19 continues to have a far-reaching effect on people’s lives, families, and communities as well as on the global economy. Amid the bleak economic reality, companies in response are focused on driving a dual agenda: protecting lives and livelihoods. As the crisis continues to upend lives, companies are struggling to understand its full impact on their businesses and how best to respond. According to our recent B2B Decision Maker Pulse survey, about a quarter of companies surveyed say they are redirecting and increasing spend toward emerging opportunities.

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How COVID-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspective

COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Everything has been impacted. How we live and interact with each other, how we work and communicate, how we move around and travel. Every aspect of our lives has been affected. Although the world is in lockdown, governments, epidemiologists, school principals, entrepreneurs and families around the world are already planning the next steps: how to safely reopen schools and businesses, how to commute and travel without transmitting or contracting infection, how to support those most affected by the crisis – the millions who have lost their livelihoods or their loved ones, how to ensure the already serious inequalities don’t deteriorate further.

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Exit from coronavirus lockdowns – lessons from 6 countries

It has been less than two months since the world scrambled to go into the “Great Lockdown” to slow the spread of COVID-19. Now, many countries are considering their exit strategies. Some have already eased up.

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Analysis: What impact will the coronavirus pandemic have on atmospheric CO2?

Recent weeks have seen a number of estimates of how the coronavirus pandemic has affected CO2 emissions in China, the UK, Europe and the world as a whole in 2020. But a key question for climate change is what impact this has had on the overall amount of CO2 in the atmosphere – the principal driver of global temperature rise. In our analysis for Carbon Brief, we assess whether the global drop in emissions will have a noticeable impact on atmospheric CO2 concentrations this year.

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What Next in the International Financial Response to the COVID-19 Crisis?

A generous reading of the recently convened meetings of the IMF and World Bank, and the associated meetings of the G7 and G20, is that everyone recognized the unprecedented nature of COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for development and poverty: the international financial institutions (IFIs) took encouraging steps to increase their financial contribution and the G20 managed to agree on a useful, if limited, debt standstill for the poorest countries.

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COVID-19 in COMESA Situational Update No. 12

COVID-19 has continued to spread in countries in the region. As more countries continue to strengthen their testing capabilities, more cases have been recorded. Since the last situational update on 28 April 2020, the region has reported a total of 13,739 cases (an increase of 4,148 new cases). While Comoros had not recorded any COVID-19 case for a long period of time, a first case was recorded on 30 April 2020.

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Scientists Create Antibody That Defeats Coronavirus in Lab

Scientists created a monoclonal antibody that can defeat the new coronavirus in the lab, an early but promising step in efforts to find treatments and curb the pandemic’s spread. The experimental antibody has neutralized the virus in cell cultures. While that’s early in the drug development process -- before animal research and human trials -- the antibody may help prevent or treat Covid-19 and related diseases in the future, either alone or in a drug combination, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Communications.

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Kenya gets WHO approval for Covid-19 drug trials

Kenya has been cleared to take part in the trials of a Covid-19 drug approved for use in the US. The Ministry of Health will use the drug on a small number of patients. Remdesivir was approved by the Food and Drug Authority in the US for emergency use. Health director general Patrick Amoth on Monday said the World Health Organization had approved Kenya to join the trials.

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Algeria Sets Measures to Mitigate Impact of Covid-19 on Economy

In the context of the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the global public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, with more than 3,635,934 reported cases worldwide. On 4 May the Algerian Ministry of Health announced 4,648 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 465 deaths, in Algeria. In that respect, the Government of Algeria has implemented various measures with a view to limiting the spread of COVID-19.

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WHO supports scientifically-proven traditional medicine

The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomes innovations around the world including repurposing drugs, traditional medicines and developing new therapies in the search for potential treatments for COVID-19. WHO recognizes that traditional, complementary and alternative medicine has many benefits and Africa has a long history of traditional medicine and practitioners that play an important role in providing care to populations.

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Africa’s coronavirus safety nets cannot cover all

Many African countries moved rapidly to curb the initial spread of coronavirus, but they have been slower to cushion their citizens from its economic impact. Taking advantage of the lag before cases appeared on the continent, the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention began ramping up their testing capacity in February, and by March many countries required foreign travellers to self-quarantine upon arrival.

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COVID-19 Impacts – A Gear Shift For PE Funds from Deploying Capital to Risk Mitigation

The reality of the COVID-19 pandemic presents a number of unforeseen and far-reaching implications on markets and economies across the globe - Africa is no different. From a PE/VC fund perspective, the pandemic has had an immediate impact as funds face a drop in valuations and NAV numbers.

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Listed Companies Granted Leeway to Convene General Meetings With Capital Markets Authority Approval

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a challenge for companies listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange which have had to postpone general meetings (GMs) due to the ban on public gatherings in Kenya. This has meant that listed companies cannot hold physical GMs as they have done traditionally.

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Opinion: Slums are the next front line in the fight against the coronavirus

The spread of COVID-19 has transformed many of the world’s great cities into tragic household names as their reported cases and deaths rise: Wuhan, Milan, Madrid, New York City, and more. But as the pandemic continues in the weeks and months to come, those relatively affluent cities will be joined by others with far more challenging conditions.

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COVID-19: A double emergency

For the hundreds of millions of children living through conflict or in some of the world’s most fragile places, limited access to essential services has become a sad daily reality. UNICEF was already working to improve healthcare, water and sanitation, access to learning and protection services for children struggling just to survive. But the COVID-19 pandemic presents yet another challenge to already battered and desperately overburdened health, education and social protection systems.

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A Pledge for Africa

In 34 of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 45 countries, annual per capita health spending is below $200, and measures like lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and even frequent handwashing to combat COVID-19 are nearly impossible to implement. This simple fact underscores the urgent need for the Global Health Pledging Conference on May 4.

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Covid-19: what to expect in 2021-22

Economic projections around the impact of the coronavirus outbreak remain uncertain. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s base case is built on a series of epidemiological assumptions regarding the virus. We believe that about 50% of the world’s population will be infected, that 20% of symptomatic cases will be severe and that about 1% (possibly less) of symptomatic cases will prove fatal. We expect governments to lift lockdowns gradually once the number of cases declines and there is sufficient spare capacity in healthcare systems.

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Here are the biggest economic challenges we face over the next 10 years

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the world has been drifting towards a perfect storm of financial, political, socioeconomic, and environmental risks, writes Nouriel Roubini. From massive increases in fiscal deficits as high as 10% of GDP or more to worsening relations between China and the US, here are 10 economic factors pointing to financial trouble ahead, according to the economist.

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From surviving to thriving: Reimagining the post-COVID-19 return

As businesses around the world consider how they can return from the torment inflicted by the coronavirus, Brazil’s journey from failure to triumph provides food for thought. In a previous article, McKinsey described five qualities that will be critical for business leaders to find their way to the next normal: resolve, resilience, return, reimagination, and reform.

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A UN framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19

This report sets out the framework for the United Nations’ urgent socio-economic support to countries and societies in the face of COVID-19, putting in practice the UN Secretary-General’s Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity report on the same subject.

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May 1, 2020 end of week update: Debt relief for the world's poorest countries

Using the fast-track approach developed in April, the World Bank is currently assisting 93 countries with COVID-related health projects, with support in another 18 countries expected shortly. The broad support efforts can be viewed on this interactive map of our ongoing COVID-19 projects.

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The impact of COVID-19 on East African Economies

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is currently causing a significant adverse impact on the global economy with governments around the world implementing various fiscal measures to mitigate its effects and provide relief for businesses and households. Within Africa, the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt in different ways and the measures taken by the respective governments have also differed on the areas of focus and comprehensiveness.

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How COVID-19 is impacting trade across the COMESA region

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen countries across the Common Market for Eastern Africa implemented new trade regulations, restricting the movement of some goods and services to curb the spread of the virus. Sandra Uwera, CEO, COMESA Business Council joins CNBC Africa to discuss how best this can be done to minimize losses.

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What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

Humankind has never had a more urgent task than creating broad immunity for coronavirus. Realistically, if we’re going to return to normal, we need to develop a safe, effective vaccine. We need to make billions of doses, we need to get them out to every part of the world, and we need all of this to happen as quickly as possible.

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IMF Fiscal Monitor Report - April 2020

Chapter 1 argues that fiscal policies are at the forefront of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chapter 2 argues that fiscal policies are at the forefront of facilitating an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic once the Great Lockdown ends. Chapter 3 discusses what governments can do to get the most out of state-owned enterprises.

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It’s Time to Help Africa Fight the Virus

The next time you react when your six-foot perimeter is violated at a grocery store or on the sidewalk, imagine how much worse it could be. For hundreds of millions of people who live in unplanned settlements, slums, and refugee camps around the world, anything approaching social distancing is a cruel impossibility.

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You cannot solve a global pandemic with national policies

As we lock ourselves down to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is tempting to think that the solutions to the pandemic lie at a national level, writes Minouche Shafik (LSE Director). But although it will probably stall world trade, the virus respects no borders. International co-operation, woefully inadequate so far, will be vital if the pandemic is not to re-emerge.

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Low Covid-19 death toll raises hopes Africa may be spared worst

Since the first African coronavirus case was confirmed on February 14 when a Chinese national was diagnosed in Egypt, the virus has spread to virtually all corners of the continent. Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder whose charitable foundation is focused on the pandemic, has warned that, if left unchecked in a region of crowded slums and flimsy health systems, the disease could claim a horrifying 10m African lives.

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Coronavirus: How to Do Testing and Contact Tracing

We can reopen the economy again if we do a few things right, including testing and contact tracing. We need to test all people with symptoms and their contacts, which means at most 3% of our tests should turn out positive. We need to identify as many infected as possible, and 70% to 90% of their contacts, to isolate or quarantine them. If we do all of that really fast (within a day or so), it might be enough to control the epidemic. We should hire lots of people to do that, and also use technology.

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African countries move from COVID-19 readiness to response as many confirm cases

The global community is racing to slow down and eventually halt the spread of COVID-19, a pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives and sickened tens of thousands of others. In Africa, the virus has spread to dozens of countries within weeks. Governments and health authorities across the continent are striving to limit widespread infections.

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Coronavirus: The Basic Dance Steps Everybody Can Follow

Any country can follow a series of measures that are very cheap and can dramatically reduce the epidemic: mandate wearing home-made masks, apply physical distancing and hygiene everywhere, and educate the public

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The first modern pandemic: The scientific advances we need to stop COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic pits all of humanity against the virus. The damage to health, wealth, and well-being has already been enormous. This is like a world war, except in this case, we’re all on the same side. Everyone can work together to learn about the disease and develop tools to fight it. I see global innovation as the key to limiting the damage.

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Comments on the New Amendments to the Tax Amendment Bill, 2020

The Tax Amendment Bill, 2020 (the Tax Bill) seeks to amend a number of laws to (amongst other things) address and mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya. The pandemic has caused widespread disruption to lives and businesses and we welcome Parliament’s initiative at introducing regulatory and legislative responses to address issues arising from the pandemic.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic: A global problem impacting geographical areas differently that requires varied responses

A news article published on 17th April on BBC that first got me angry for three reasons. First is that for so long, Africa has been portrayed as the dark continent by the west. Even when things aren’t as bad as they are in the west, Melinda Gates recently said that it would only take a matter of time before dead bodies from COVID-19 casualties line the streets of Africa if something drastic is not done to curb the spread of the virus.

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COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 20 April

Confirmed cases approach 2.5 million; several countries around world announce plans to ease social distancing and lockdown rules; challenges for vulnerable populations around the world; and what you need to know about "wet markets".

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Coronavirus: Learning How to Dance

A month ago we sounded the alarm with Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now. After that, we asked countries to buy us time with Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance and looked in detail at the US situation with Coronavirus: Out of Many, One. Together, these articles have been viewed by over 60 million people and translated into over 40 languages.

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The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on gender equality

The lockdowns triggered by COVID-19 are taking a disproportionate toll on women in the labour market, as the sectors with high rates of female employment are experiencing heavier job losses while increased childcare needs during school closures exert an outsized impact on working mothers.

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Flattening the climate curve in the post-COVID world

The COVID-19 crisis sees humans act with unprecedented solidarity. Acts of kindness abound. By mid-April, it was estimated that a third of the global population was staying indoors to help stop the virus spread. The extraordinary efforts and self-sacrifice of medical services and essential workers humbles us.

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Sharing tools and data will help us beat COVID-19

My patient’s voice quivered as he told me about his wife. She had COVID-19 symptoms but was too afraid to go to the hospital. By the time paramedics came to his house for another family member who fell ill, he was wracked with worry. “Please check on my wife; I don’t know if she’s ok to be at home,” he told one paramedic.

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Seven recommended reads for contextualising Covid-19

In the present crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a number of accessible historical works and websites that can provide background and information on the disease as it unfolds. Since the disease is so recently emergent, there are as yet no reliable books dedicated directly to the topic.

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Access to justice in the times of Covid-19 – luxury or essential commodity?

Many Kenyans will agree that the measures the government has put in place to restrict movement are justified to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and to prevent our fragile healthcare system from collapsing. We need to be mindful of the long-term impact of these measures, starting with the declaration of essential services.

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Africans can fight COVID-19 with stakeholder capitalism

With the COVID-19 pandemic threatening to overwhelm much of Africa, companies on the continent must broaden their perspective. Instead of focusing on short-term returns for owners and investors, they must consider the needs of a variety of stakeholders – employees, suppliers, customers, and the societies in which they operate.

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Post-Pandemic Cities

COVID-19 is forcing cities around the world to face the reality that they're ill-prepared for emergencies. It’s time to reinvent the modern urban center with an eye toward fully equipped health systems and state-of-the-art digital infrastructure that incorporates unanticipated risks.

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The deadly link between COVID-19 and air pollution

As the coronavirus pandemic impacts millions across the world and brings economies to a grinding halt, there is a lot of talk about how emissions from fossil fuel combustion have dropped radically in many countries. Yet this is no solution to air pollution and climate change.

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Memorandum on Proposed Legislative Amendments to Ameliorate Impact of Covid-19 in Kenya

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in widespread economic shocks across the world that have necessitated a significant shift not only in our day to day lives but in how businesses are operating and how businesses will continue to operate during the subsistence of the pandemic and in the aftermath. In view of the various constraints relating to the pandemic, businesses are concerned that their ability to comply in a timely manner with various statutory obligations may be impaired during this period.

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Here’s How Africans Are Using Tech to Combat the Coronavirus Pandemic

From a WhatsApp chatbot to a self-diagnosis tool, Africans are devising mobile tech solutions to contain the spread of the coronavirus amid fears it could have disastrous effects for the continent's most vulnerable.

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We Could Be Vastly Overestimating the Death Rate for COVID-19. Here's Why

When it comes to COVID-19, counting has been a challenge. Despite all the news articles and reports, we know very little about the incidence or prevalence of this new disease. Projections are based on models, and this uncertainty breeds fear. In my home city of New York and elsewhere, fear is on just about everyone’s mind.

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Opinion: The pandemic Is No Time for Fiscal Distancing

These are very difficult days, as the world faces one of its worst challenges ever: the novel coronavirus pandemic. And it seems almost no nation is spared. As infection rates rise, so does panic across financial markets, as economies drastically slow down and supply chains are severely disrupted. 

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COVID-19: top four science stories of the week

Two independent research studies have shown the benefit of receiving infusions of blood from COVID-19 survivors.

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The Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Africa: A Round-Up of This Week’s Analysis

The coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the African continent. While the continent as a whole still accounts for relatively few deaths from the disease, the numbers are rising, with more than 4,700 confirmed cases and 127 deaths.

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Coronaviruses: are they here to stay?

In recent decades, zoonotic diseases–those transferred from animals to humans–have gained international attention. Ebola, avian influenza (or bird flu), H1N1 flu virus (or swine flu), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Rift Valley fever, sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), West Nile virus, the Zika virus­–and now, the novel coronavirus COVID-19–have all either caused or threatened to cause major pandemics, with thousands of deaths and billions in economic losses.

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In the Face of Coronavirus, African Countries Apply Lessons from Ebola Response

COVID-19 (coronavirus) has arrived in Sub-Saharan Africa, and governments have stepped up measures to prevent the spread of this pandemic. Over the past weeks, travelers have been screened with thermal cameras and health agents have been deployed to increase surveillance, and countries have acted swiftly to cut down flights, close schools and borders, and limit public gatherings.

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A GDPR perspective: Health data in light of COVID-19

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is quickly changing the world, including how health data relating to a data subject is controlled and processed by governments and enterprises. With the number of COVID-19 cases well above 1 million, the well-being and economic future of most countries is uncertain.

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Coronavirus, faith leaders and sustainable development

The coronavirus has turned our world upside down. Countries, societies, families and individuals are affected in so many ways. In the midst of this global crisis we believe that this is also a time for innovation, for finding new and better ways to tackle our global challenges.

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How to restart national economies during the coronavirus crisis

Around the world, life as we know it has changed drastically. Global leaders and millions of citizens are facing the challenge of a lifetime. The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening not only healthcare systems, but also the livelihoods of citizens and the stability of economies.

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Tackling COVID-19 in Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic is primarily a health crisis and a human tragedy, but it also has far-reaching economic ramifications. In Africa, it is already disrupting millions of people’s livelihoods, with disproportionate impact on poor households and small and informal businesses—and the pace of this disruption is likely to accelerate in the weeks ahead.

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COVID-19: Africa Economic Impact - Kenya deep-dive

COVID-19 is, first and foremost, a global humanitarian challenge. Thousands of health professionals are heroically battling the virus, putting their own lives at risk. Governments and industry are working together to understand and address the challenge, support victims and their families and communities, and search for treatments and a vaccine.

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The Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was published on 30 March 2020 (the Bill) to make amendments to tax related laws in Kenya including the Income Tax Act (CAP 470) , the Value Added Tax Act, 2013, the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2015 and the Excise Duty Act, 2015. The National Assembly will on 8 April 2020 consider and vote on the Bill and forward it for assent to the President.

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COVID-19 talk: Let politicians talk less and scientists more

If ever a crisis should have forced world leaders to rethink their approach to existential challenges of global dimensions, the COVID-19 pandemic ought to have been that catalyst. However, the response of leaders across the world has been characterised by a patchwork of largely uncoordinated reactions, still based on the exigencies and machinations and commensurate limitations of nation-state dynamics.

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The world after coronavirus

Humankind is now facing a global crisis. Perhaps the biggest crisis of our generation. The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks will probably shape the world for years to come. They will shape not just our healthcare systems but also our economy, politics and culture. 

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Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance

Strong coronavirus measures today should only last a few weeks, there shouldn’t be a big peak of infections afterwards, and it can all be done for a reasonable cost to society, saving millions of lives along the way. If we don’t take these measures, tens of millions will be infected, many will die, along with anybody else that requires intensive care, because the healthcare system will have collapsed.

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In the Battle Against Coronavirus, Humanity Lacks Leadership

Many people blame the coronavirus epidemic on globalization, and say that the only way to prevent more such outbreaks is to de-globalize the world. Build walls, restrict travel, reduce trade. However, while short-term quarantine is essential to stop epidemics, long-term isolationism will lead to economic collapse without offering any real protection against infectious diseases.

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Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

With everything that’s happening about the Coronavirus, it might be very hard to make a decision of what to do today. Should you wait for more information? Do something today? What?