Sumary of What India’s COVID-19 crisis means for Africa:
- By May 9, 2021 India accounted for 57 percent of new COVID-19 cases anywhere in the world.
- As India’s second COVID-19 wave raged, a concern for African countries has been the potential for economic and trade-related spillovers channeled through these trade sensitivities.
- At the start of the pandemic, in April 2020, Indian rice traders were forced to suspend exports amid disruptions to transport links, and maritime shipping and production bottlenecks caused by lockdown restrictions imposed to suppress the spread of the virus.
- In a United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) survey of African businesses across the continent in July 2020, companies reported switching suppliers as a result of sourcing disruptions, with 56 percent finding equivalent products and favouring national and regional suppliers.
- Indeed, India is more than your average country in the face of a health pandemic and is also quite notably the “vaccine factory of the world.
- ” In being forced to redirect COVID-19 vaccine exports domestically to fight its current outbreak, India is estimated to have left COVAX with a shortfall of 190 million doses by just the end of June.
- Though countries across the world are also facing the vulnerabilities of having been too dependent on Indian vaccine supplies, it is developing and least-developed countries that are most dependent on COVAX and have already fallen behind in vaccination rates.
- According to WHO Africa, while the world—as of mid-June—had administered 29 doses per 100 people, African countries had managed just 1.5 doses per 100 people.