Implications of the COVID-19 on Resources Mobilisation in Africa: A Call for Action

COVID-19 is one of the greatest challenges that African authorities have faced in a generation. Given the magnitude of its impact on population and the world economy, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a global pandemic and has become a global emergency. Despite the reactionary measures being put in place by African governments, COVID-19 continues to spread across the continent. On June 3, 2020, Africa News reported 58,030 cases, 4,505 deaths and 67,491 recoveries. To cope with the coronavirus pandemic, African countries have implemented a number of measures aimed at reducing the continuous spread of the virus. Some of these measures include closure of companies deemed not critical, social distancing, banning large gatherings, curfews and confinement (partial/total), border control and closure, market closures, suspension of nonessential activities and travel bans. Based on countries reviews, some of these measures have been relaxed lately. Sectors deemed critical such as mining, transport, and pharmaceuticals have been allowed to operate. Unfortunately, the relaxation of these measures has exposed workers to the virus. For instance, underground mining workers descend downwards in overcrowded cages and they are obviously not able to observe the social distance guidelines. Limited air circulation also fosters the virus spread. By 15 June 2020, the number of cases had risen to 998 with two deaths. South Africa is the most affected, accounting for 25% of the continent’s total cases, with the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces reporting high number of cases and deaths daily. Against this background, the purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of coronavirus on the domestic resources mobilisation in Africa. This paper argues that coronavirus has negatively affected DRM efforts by African countries. The negative implication of coronavirus on DRM is two pronged. Firstly, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global economy. As a consequence, this has also affected DRM efforts by African countries since they heavily rely on the export of primary commodities. Second, responses by countries to cope with coronavirus pandemic also have implications on DRM especially on taxation. Important to mention is the fact that Africa was already facing DRM challenges prior to the pandemic.