The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to an unprecedented global economic recession and widespread social distress. Despite its late arrival in Sub-Saharan Africa, COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. As of early April, African countries implemented a number of public health measures, including bans on public gatherings, increased health screening at ports, driver testing at border crossings, restrictions on ship berthing and crew access to shore, physical distancing in public transport, and lockdowns. Measures to fight COVID-19 have caused severe economic and social impacts, especially in landlocked and least developed countries, and imposed added hardships on poor and vulnerable communities. The World Bank has projected the first African recession in 25 years. The continent’s economy will contract between 2.1 and 5.1% in 2020, compared to a 2.4% expansion in 2019. The most affected sectors are air, maritime and road transport; freight forwarding and logistics; tourism; oil and gas; and wholesale and retail commerce. From aviation to logistics and public transport, COVID-19 has completely upended the transport sector. Public transport has been among the hardest hit industries as a result of lockdowns and physical distancing measures.
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