African nations facing a complex trilemma – 2 economic & 1 pandemic
“The really tough choices don’t centre upon right versus wrong. They involve right versus right.” – Rushworth Kidder
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, African countries are now confronted with dwindling options and hard choices. Policy makers who normally are caught between the horns of a dilemma now have another dimension to juggle. In a bid to ensure that no ball falls, they are grappling with not only the choices but the appropriate mix. Most African Central Banks are cutting interest rates to complement their fiscal stimuli. There are others, Nigeria included, who are simultaneously combating high inflation. To complement the existing measures, the IMF and World Bank have provided support loans of approximately $10bn in emergency grants etc. spread over a minimum of 5 years with moratorium on interest payment.
So the real question becomes, should we cut interest rates and fuel inflation or do we tighten to keep inflation under control and undermine the economic recovery?
The myths and facts of COVID-19 – Is Africa Doomed?
One of the big myths, amongst others, about covid is that the virus does not last in high temperature regions. This myth was quickly disabused with rising infections and community transmissions in Brazil (983,359) and Africa (279,452) compared to Greece (3,227). Another trending myth was the link between the virus and the 5G network. However, this is a fallacy as there is no direct relationship between network connectivity and the spread of the virus. What is certain is that proximity with an infected person increases the spread of the virus and this cuts across all nations. SSA has an average life expectancy of approximately 63 years and with the inadequate health care systems, high level of ignorance, community spread especially in slums is bound to spike. Therefore, the truth is that there is need for increased social awareness and improved healthcare facilities.
This edition of the FDC Afriscope sheds more light on these and other issues currently affecting the continent.
Do enjoy your read!