Outbreaks of various epidemics or pandemics have been recurrent throughout history. However, a pandemic of such a global scale as the Covid-19 pandemic can be considered as an unprecedented crisis in modern days. To contain the spread of the diseases, governments around the world started putting in pace stringent measures in early 2020, bringing about unusual challenges for populations and businesses alike. The African food and beverage manufacturing sector warrants particular attention in this regard, due to its importance for food security, income generation and employment on the continent. Evidence from four African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) shows that the sector has proven to be relatively resilient during the pandemic,
but some impacts, for instance on staff and access to raw materials, also worsened over time.
This brief presents the result of two rounds of rapid assessments (May and September/October 2020) on how Covid-19 containment measures have affected the performance of the food and beverage manufacturing industry in the four countries and what measures companies need to support them during the pandemic.