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The Covid-19 pandemic and in particular the measures that have been taken by governments to contain the spread of the virus is affecting all segments of society and business around to world. To understand the impacts in on the African food and beverage manufacturing industry, ZEF/PARI in collaboration with the SADC Research Center, conducted a rapid phone survey of close to 600 companies in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa in May 2020.

Key findings

  • Most of the companies where still operating at the time of the survey, that most of them had to reduce production volumes.
  • The number of temporary or permanent closures is likely to be higher than reported here, as they were less likely to answer the phone.
  • Many firms had to pay higher prices for raw materials, in particular in Nigeria (95%) and Kenya (69%), but less so in South Africa (41%).
  • Companies for the most part held on to their employees, but at times had to reduce salaries. Most increased shifts to ensure social distancing.
  • Many of the companies where impacted by measures imposed by foreign governments, in particular through delays and additional requirements at the border. Many Kenyan companies also saw their exports fall while South African and Nigerian companies where more affected by a drop in imports.
  • To reduce the economic impact of Covid-19 containment measures, companies most frequently called for practical and business-survival interventions, such as a re-opening of the economy, financial support, tax relief and assistance in the area of health & safety.

Further details on country-specific findings:

PARI Policy Brief No. 24 (South Africa)

PARI Policy Brief No. 25 (Nigeria)

PARI Policy Brief No. 26 (Kenya)