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The Covid-19 global pandemic has been devastating and Africa has been spared from paying the same price in human lives ,but the economic consequences have been far reaching.
According to a Deloitte report on the economic impact of Covid-19 on Africa, the projected global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has fallen to 2,9 percent from 3,3 percent. This has seen Africa’s GDP forecasts falling to 1,8 percent against a projection of 3,2 percent.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) reports that one month of lockdown costs Africa about 2,5 percent of its GDP, which in dollar terms works out to US$65,7 billion per month. This is over and beyond what the pandemic has done to global commodity prices.
The same report details that a total of 42 African nations had implemented localised or national lockdowns as of May 4, 2020, 38 of these countries had those restrictions in place for at least 21 days.
Additionally, the World Bank estimates that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will fall by 5 percent to 15 percent; remittance flows which is one of the significant contributors to revenue in Africa, is also expected to fall across Sub-Saharan Africa by 23,1 percent from $ 59,1 billion to $48 billion.
Lastly, the African Union predicts that spending on capital projects, such as housing and infrastructure, will fall by 25 percent. All these figures, of which there are many more, point out to what is true for most of the world — the economy will recede and in some cases, slump.
In another report published in June this year, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also states that Covid-19 pandemic and global knock effects could stall Zimbabwe’s economic reform agenda.
The UNDP report also indicates that Zimbabwe’s economy shrank by some 6,5 percent in 2019. This would “affect the poor and vulnerable, small and informal businesses and small-scale agricultural producers” while slower imports could cause shortages and spiking inflation, deterring badly needed investment and worsening widespread poverty among Zimbabweans.
It is with this in mind that Craft Properties Holdings has undertaken to assist its employees whose communities have been ravaged by the same vagaries that are associated with Covid-19.
While the Government and its development partners have been working hard to ensure that the effects of Covid-19 pandemic does not affect the citizens, Craft Properties Holdings believes other companies can follow suit by assisting their employees.
The company’s founder and chief executive Mr Kudakwashe Taruberekera, recently sourced and distributed maize to its employees.
“This decision was reached after the company took into consideration the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown to the general population of Zimbabwe, its employees included. In general, the people have been hit hard by the measures imposed due to Covid-19 lockdown resulting in most people being unable to buy basic commodities to feed their families,” Mr Taruberekera said.
Craft Properties has always had a culture of valuing its employees and it is of paramount importance to the company to ensure the welfare of employees is well catered for.
The maize was been distributed among the employees and the company believes this gesture will go a long way in alleviating hunger which, has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company pointed that it would continue to assist employees during this difficult time and will make sure every employee is cushioned.
It is also prudent for employers to consider assisting their workers who are going through difficulties despite the salaries that the companies are striving to pay as monthly remuneration.
The Government alone cannot assist all the people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and it is commendable that the corporate world, industry and other enterprises join hands to assist vulnerable citizens.
Companies should adhere to the World Health Organisation regulations and guidelines to help reduce the chances of workers being infected by Covid-19.