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The COVID-19 Pandemic and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Exploring Potential Impacts and Developmental Implications

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused nontrivial disruptions to global value chains and affected the lives of many people, particularly the poor across the world. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early part of 2020 in Africa, happened during a time that African countries had just signed one of the world’s largest trade agreements and therefore began introducing continental-level structures to strengthen free trade among member states. This chapter examines the potential effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agenda for free trade in Africa, both in the short and in the long-term.

COVID-19 risks to global food security

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, trade-offs have emerged between the need to contain the virus and to avoid disastrous economic and food security crises that hurt the world's poor and hungry most. Although no major food shortages have emerged as yet, agricultural and food markets are facing disruptions because of labor shortages created by restrictions on movements of people and shifts in food demand resulting from closures of restaurants and schools as well as from income losses.

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