The impact of Covid-19 on agri-food trade in sub-Saharan Africa


THE Publisher of Africa Briefing, Jon Offei-Ansah, will deliver the opening remarks at a virtual conference to assess the impact of Covid-19 on agri-food trade in sub-Saharan Africa on July 28.

‘As the Covid-19 outbreak continues, a contraction in both the supply and demand for agricultural products and disruptions in trade and logistics are radically exacerbating food insecurity in Africa,’ says Wendy De La Harpe, Project Director of the Cape Town, South Africa-based African Agri Council, organisers of the conference.

‘Governments have responded to Covid-19 by implementing a raft of containment measures including stricter border controls. Ensuring the continued functioning of global and national food supply chains will be crucial in securing food supply and preventing a food crisis.

‘This virtual event features case study presenters discussing how their agri-food business sectors are adjusting practices and policies to successfully meet the challenges created by the pandemic,’ she adds.

Themes to be addressed at the conference include:

  • Covid-19 and trade in sub-Saharan Africa: Impacts

and policy response

  • Markets – an extremely high-risk area
  • Facilitating the free movement of goods and services

during the COVID-19 pandemic period

  • EAC Partner States adoption of the EAC Regional

Electronic Cargo and Drivers Tracking System

  • A lesson on food safety for fresh produce markets
  • Curbing logjams and keeping the supply chain system

going – new thinking is the order of the day

  • Impacts on freight forwarders and logistics operators
  • How market access-specialized platforms and

marketplaces are facilitating the trend of more food

and agro purchases moving online

‘During these increasingly uncertain times, we recognise there is great responsibility in delivering critical information, accurate data and expert analysis to the food and agri community, and to play our part, the African Agri Council (AAC) is working on ways to keep our partners and network as informed and engaged as possible,’ says De La Harpe.

Speakers at the conference, which will be chaired by Trudi Hartzenberg, Executive Director of Cape Town-based Trade Law Centre (Tralac), include Dr Peter Mathuki, CEO/Executive Director, East African Business Council (EABC) and Jaco Oosthuizen, CEO of RSA Group

The conference is part of the AAC Spotlight Virtual Event Series that focuses on specific issues facing the industry. The upcoming sessions will focus on various tools and measures necessary to reduce and manage disruptions in food and agri supply and value chains as well as explore how to navigate the investment landscape during these unprecedented times.



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