Connect with us


COVID-19: Employment effects likely to be severe in urban areas -ECA



COVID-19: Employment effects likely to be severe in urban areas -ECA

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says COVID-19 employment effects are likely to be severe in urban areas.

It said this in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Communications Section in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The organisation called for adequate consideration of the vulnerability of city economies as African governments consolidate efforts and define stimulus measures to mitigate national and regional economic impacts.

“Urban-based sectors of the economy (manufacturing and services) which currently account for 64 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa are expected to be hit hard by COVID-19 related effects, leading to substantial losses in productive jobs.

“In particular, the approximately 250 million Africans in informal urban employment (excluding North Africa) will be at risk.

“Firms and businesses in African cities are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 related effects, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which account for 80 per cent of employment in Africa.”

According to the statement, urban consumption and expenditure (of food, manufactured goods, utilities, transport, energy and services) is likely to experience a sharp fall in light of COVID-19-related lockdowns and reduced restrictions.

Ms Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Director, Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division of the ECA, said as engines and drivers of economic growth, cities face considerable risks in light of COVID-19 with implications for the continent’s resilience to the pandemic.

“Africa’s cities drive consumption with their growing middle class with per capita consumption spending in large cities being on average 80 per cent higher at the city level than at the national level.

“COVID-19 related decline in urban consumption will thus impact domestic value chains, including rural areas.”

The ECA added that with the per capita expenditure of African local authorities being the lowest in the world at 26 dollars, many local authorities are poorly resourced and less able to contend with the onslaught of COVID-19.

It said that alarming also was the likely fall in revenue streams for local authorities due to COVID-19 curtailing their already limited ability to respond to the crisis.

“Intergovernmental/national transfers which account for 70 to 80 per cent of local authorities’ finance are likely to be reduced due to immediate national response and recovery requirements.

“Own source revenues which are already low at only 10 per cent of local authorities’ finances with city level lockdowns and restrictions leading to reduced economic activity.

“Yet, local authorities are frontline responders to such shocks and crises.

“Given the proximity to their constituencies, local authorities are well positioned to and already do lead responses to some of the immediate effects.

“By doing so, they have a better understanding of needs and necessary measures,and enable higher transparency of accountability.”

In light of these circumstances, the statement said the ECA was proposing specific support to city governments to mitigate and respond to the economic effects of COVID-19, in addition to the immediate health and humanitarian focus.

It added that disaggregating the analysis and identification of priorities and responses at the sub-national and city scales was a first step.

According to the ECA, proactive measures are also needed for urban economic recovery including measures to boost finances and capacities of local authorities as first responders.

It said there should be short term bailouts and exemptions for SMEs to limit productivity and employment losses and social protection for those in informal urban employment should be provided.

It emphasised that in this regard, local governments must be supported because they are better able to respond to local needs including coordination with community-based structures.

Folasade Akpan: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]

COVID-19 lockdown: 7m Filipinos lose jobs Police arraign 10 men in Lagos over alleged unlawful possession of weapons COVID-I9: FRSC stresses importance of passengers’ documentation LWC says Adiyan water plant begins operation WHO scales up COVID-19, TB search with mobile testing in Kaduna communities Coronavirus: Germany, Malaysia industrial production recovering slowly COVID-19 Violation: Abuja mobile court fines Naira Marley N200,000 UN says 27 dead after boat capsizes off Mauritanian coast Lawyer calls for arrest of publisher for infringing right WHO ramps up COVID-19 support to hotspot countries in Africa Man, 24, bags 4-year jail term for burglary, stealing Osinbajo wants innovative technology suitable for courtroom Floods displace 150,000 in eastern South Sudan Court fixes Sept. 29 to rule in no-case-submission filed by El-Zazaky Britain to fund Northern Ireland trade declaration system Lagos Govt. conducts 66,000 COVID-19 sample tests NEMA warns of likely flooding in 28 states, 102 local governments Trader arraigned on alleged theft of laptop, cell phones Minister appeals to NASS for improved budget for physical planning in FCT Rotary Governor tasks members on impactful projects for underprivileged Kwara community hands over upgraded NSCDC outpost, donates patrol vehicle Soil Science Institute partners ministry to enhance food production Tricycle rider docked over alleged phone theft Woman in court for allegedly misappropriating N144, 740 Gov. Okowa felicitates Obiano at 65 NLC urges Air Peace, others to reinstate sacked workers within 2 weeks Court dissolves 13-year-old marriage as wife starves husband of sex COVID-19: Mobile court convicts 39 defaulters for violating protocols in Edo LASUTH Medicine Dept donates scrubs to doctors Ganduje wants partnership with FG to boost gold trade Nigerian Shippers’ Council donates medical items to Ilorin General Hospital Insecurity: Gov Bagudu urges traditional rulers to support community policing Businessman in court over alleged N1.4m fraud Buhari meets Edo APC Gubernatorial Candidate,Ize Iyamu at Aso Villa Oil slips below $45 on-demand concerns, set for weekly rise Mauritius facing environmental crisis after oil spill Sumo wrestler’s retirement offer rejected in spite of breaking COVID-19 rules Court remands man for allegedly defiling 13-year-old Quail meat, an antidote for hypertension-Scientist Russia’s coronavirus vaccine undergoes final testing phase DPR seals 8 stations over unsafe practice in Akwa Ibom Malaysia’s ex-finance minister hit with kickback charge, wife arrested Alleged rape: Court remands man pending legal advice Africa’s COVID-19 cases hit 1m, with South Africa worst-hit LASG directs JSS 3 students to resume Monday FG to encourage more private/public partnership to boost domestic gas Flood wrecks havoc in Kafanchan NNL 2020/21: Gov. Makinde sets promotion target for 3SC New South Wales offers to host Australian Open as Melbourne battles COVID-19 spike It’s tough to stay focused at spectator-free events, golfer says