COVID-19 Crisis in Africa: Building Back Better

COVID-19 has become a global emergency, given its impact on the entire world population, the economy and the World of Work. Beyond the health impact, COVID 19 has severely affected the economy through the lockdown and restrictive measures, which have been put in place in most African countries – with long lasting socio-economic repercussions.

Although the number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities might still appear low in Africa compared to other continents, the looming health crisis could have disastrous impacts on the continent’s already strained and under-resourced health systems, and has already led to widespread socio-economic hardships.

The impact of the lockdowns adopted to mitigate the pandemic has vastly surpassed that of the initial trade shocks and of the travel restrictions introduced soon after the outbreak. The uncertainty around the virus and the consequent policy actions, such as physical distancing and lockdowns, have led to a reduction in working hours and losses in employment and income.

ILO Africa regional event

The virtual ILO meeting of tripartite constituents in the Africa region will discuss the responses to the COVID-19 crisis in order to build back better. The Africa regional event sets the stage for the ILO Global Virtual Summit and the World of Work on 7-9 July 2020.

The pandemic will leave the world of work with higher unemployment; higher inequality; higher poverty; higher levels of debt, and in all probability social upheaval. Furthermore, the pandemic has reaffirmed the need to implement the Centenary Declaration, Abidjan Declaration, and clearly shown the human price of failing to do so.
Therefore, the process of building back better will need to respond to some pressing questions and challenges.


  1. Government through the Ministries of Labour.
  2. Representative of Workers’ Organizations
  3. Representatives of Employers’ Organizations

The African Union Commission, Regional Economic Communities, Regional Labour Administration Centres, Representatives of Informal Economy Operators, Economic Commission for Africa and other United Nations agencies, African Development Bank, World Bank and other development partners.

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