ESA COVID-19 Situation Report – Third Quarter 2021



This report contains a brief overview of the flow of goods for the 24 respective countries that form the East and Southern Africa (ESA) region. The update – the ninth of its kind – covers the period of July to September 2021. As has become the case lately, it is almost impossible to report on any matter without mentioning the impact of COVID-19. As 2021 has continued, this remains the case. According to the latest “World Economic Outlook[1] published by the IMF, Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at ↑3.7% for 2021 and ↑3.8% for 2022, which has been revised upwards from April’s forecast. The revisions are welcome since the African Development Bank (AfDB) estimated that GDP per capita contracted by ↓10% in nominal terms in 2020[2].

Nevertheless, as the pandemic continues to impact everyone, the matter of equal access to vaccines in Africa remains a contentious issue, as per the published update on our website regarding the vaccination uptake on the Continent[3]. Collectively, only half of the countries on the Continent has vaccinated more than 2% of their overall population. This remains a grave concern, as herd immunity continues to be our best bet at returning to some level of normalcy.

Part of the new normal business environment is dealing with the ever-changing entrance and exiting restrictions at borders in terms of goods and people. As the COVID-19 virus spreads and mutates, restrictions posed by countries changes and aligns with presented risks. This situation affects the way people are doing business abroad and dealing with life in general. Many developed countries have been able to vaccinate most of their population, while developing countries are falling far behind. The African continent has been dealing with various hostile conditions to curb the spread of the virus and the devasting effects on economic growth.

1. Continent summary

It has been evident how severely the pandemic has affected global economic growth, even more so the economic growth of low-income countries such as those in Africa. Adding to the outlook provided by the IMF, the African Development Bank reported that the eastern African region posted an average growth rate of 4.9% in 2018 and 5.3% in 2019. against Africa’s overall growth rate of 3.3% and 3.4% respectively. However, post Covid-19, the region reported a devastating growth rate of only 0.7% in 2020, which remained above the -2.1% slump Africa recorded in 2020. This situation means that the Eastern African region was the only region to avoid a recession amidst the pandemic[4]. On the other hand, the real GDP growth rate for South Africa was at 0.2% in 2019 and contracted by 8.2% in 2020 due to a decline in construction, communication, manufacturing, transport, and mining. The decrease in the supply of these industries is due to the efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, which damaged the economy substantially[5].

The economy of Zambia similarly fell into a deep depression, due to the unfavourable impact of the COVID–19 pandemic. Real GDP contracted by an estimated 4.9% in 2020, after growing by 4.0% in 2018 and 1.9% in 2019[6]. Mozambique’s real GDP contracted by an average of 0.5% in 2020, which is the first decline in 28 years, after growing 2.2% in 2019[7]. Zimbabwe’s economy was shrinking even before the pandemic, contracting by 6% in 2019. Due to economic instability and the removal of subsidies on maize meal, fuel and electricity prices, less foreign exchange earnings, ongoing drought, and the pandemic’s onset, real GDP fell by 10% in 2020[8]. Export-oriented industries in eSwatini were constrained by temporary business closures, disruptions in global value chains, and weak demand, which caused the country’s economy to contract by an estimated 3.2% in 2020, after growing by 2.2% in 2019[9].

Africa is far from reaching anything close to herd immunity and faces some unique challenges. Most of the vaccines received in Africa consist of donations from international or neighbouring countries and are close to reaching their expiry date. Wealthier nations signed deals with manufacturing plants, ensuring an abundance of vaccine supplies –  long before the COVAX scheme, the African Union, and other countries could secure their own first set of supplies. Obstructed distribution capabilities, characterised by limited financial and infrastructural resources, have forced many African countries to dispose of these vaccines, as they could not administer them in time. In addition, civil unrest and floods have made the distribution of any cargo exceptionally hard.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 75% of Covid-19 vaccine doses received in Africa were administered. However, as of 6 October 2021, 177,479,653 vaccine doses have been received in 52 of the 54 countries across Africa. Furthermore, 47 countries received over 67 million vaccine doses from COVAX, 27 African countries received more than 3,5 million vaccine doses from the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), and just over 106 million doses were received by 44 African countries bilaterally[10]. Regrettably, these figures portray the unfortunate reality which low-income countries face in their fight for herd immunity.

Furthermore, the WHO announced on 30 September 2021 that only 15 out of 54 African countries achieved the target of vaccinating 10% of their population by the end of September 2021. On the other hand, almost 90% of high-income countries have met this target. In addition, only half of the countries on the continent vaccinated less than 2% of their overall population[11].

Many factors play a critical role in enabling equitable vaccine access, from finding ways to boost Covid-19 manufacturing, to resolving licencing disputes, eradicating trade barriers like export restrictions, and establishing innovative and effective logistics strategies. Facilitating trade in Covid-19 vaccines also brings various long-term benefits for countries regarding their health systems and overall economies. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that low-income countries – such as those in Africa – align themselves with the guidelines provided by the WHO and the WCO on facilitating the distribution of vaccines. Furthermore, African countries should leverage existing health care practices and promote Private-Public partnerships (PPP) to find creative ways in which Covid-19 vaccines can be easily accessible for all.

Figure 1: The top 10 countries measured by the number of Covid-19 vaccine doses per 100 people in Africa as of 6 October 2021[12]:

Source: Our World in Data

The above figure illustrates the top 10 countries in Africa measured by the number of Covid-19 vaccines doses administered per 100 people. Countries like Mauritius and Seychelles have managed to fully vaccinate over 60% of their populations, Morocco 48% and Tunisia, Comoros, and Cape Verde over 20%. These countries that have managed to achieve the WHO target have relatively small populations, but they have enjoyed sufficient access to various supplies of vaccines[13].

2. Country summary

The following section summarises some policy actions of ESA governments to counter the Covid19 effects.

1. Angola

Due to declining Covid-19 cases, authorities have decided to lift the lockdown restrictions from 1 September 2021, in place since March 2020. In addition, the quarantine period for persons fully vaccinated who arrive in Angola, has also been lifted. Subsequently, there are no special requirements in place to enter or exit Luanda. Unfortunately, all land borders are still closed until further notice, and limited international air travel is permitted for citizens of the country, with the exceptions of humanitarian transport, medical emergencies, and diplomatic missions. International travellers from India and Brazil are temporarily prohibited from entering the country, as are Angolan nationals. Furthermore, flights to and from countries such as Australia, Nigeria and the UK have been suspended[14].

The Angolan Minister of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, H.E Diamantino Azevedo, announced the launch of the new Oceanic Terminal in September this year. The terminal is planned for construction in Bengo, thanks to an investment of USD500 million which will provide 580 000 cubic metres to store petroleum derivatives, including gasoline, diesel and LPG[15].

2. Botswana

International air travel requirements have not changed significantly since May 2021 and allow residential and foreign travel to and from all the major commercial airports in Botswana. Land borders are also open and fully operational, albeit with strict Covid-19 protocols in place. Indeed, two of the borders servicing over 80% of exports into Botswana from RSA – Kopfontein and Skilpadshek – were subjected to numerous closures due to Covid-19 cases. As a result, the Government of Botswana extended the State of Public Emergency until 30 September 2021. Most public spaces are operating with precautionary measures in place[16].

To promote herd immunity, in August 2021, the Government of Botswana sought to assure that thousands of undocumented immigrants would not be left out of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme. Botswana’s Assistant Minister of Health, Sethomo Lelatisitswe, advised that if undocumented immigrants and refugees were left out of the vaccination programme, the country’s hospitals would be full tomorrow[17].

3. Burundi

Land borders connecting to Tanzania and the DRC are open, while all the other land and maritime borders are closed – except for goods and cargo. Commercial flights to and from Burundi are currently operating at a reduced capacity[18]. In August this year, Burundi announced that they were preparing for their first batch of Covid-19 vaccines after becoming one of the last countries in the world to receive them[19]. To limit the spread of Covid-19, the Government of Burundi also recently launched a compulsory screening campaign for all pupils in boarding schools This is planned to last until 14 September 2021[20].

4. Comoros

Currently, Comoros is still under lockdown, although tourists are partially allowed to enter the country. Public spaces are open, with restrictions. Private gatherings such as weddings, commemorations, as well as political gatherings, have been banned until further notice. Schools and universities remain closed[21]. In August this year, the Comorian Minister visited the Minister of External Relations in Cameroon, during which potential bilateral relations between the two countries were reviewed. Both Ministers exchanged ideas on how the two countries could improve their main trading industries: fishing, tourism and perfume distillation, as well as main agricultural products including vanilla, coconuts, bananas, cassava, and various spices such as cloves[22].

5. Djibouti

International travel to and from Djibouti via all modalities has remained unchanged and accessible, although restricted, since June 2021. However, no Djibouti nationals or foreigners are allowed into the country if they have travelled via or from South Africa, India, or Brazil, due to concerns about Covid-19 variants[23]. The Minister of Health, Dr Ahmed Robleh Abdilleh, chaired a ceremony to launch the strategy for accelerating a Covid-19 vaccine roll-out project in the country. In addition, the Minister of Health mobilised more than a thousand community actors, with the aim of actively involving them in their Covid-19 vaccine campaign.ovid-19. Furthermore, various mobile Covid-19 vaccination clinics are part of the Minister’s plan to reach all districts and interior regions[24].

According to the African Development Bank, Djibouti’s economic growth prospects for 2021 and 2022 are looking positive, despite the setbacks of the pandemic. If the pandemic subsides quickly, real GDP growth rates are expected at 9.9% in 2021 and 8.1% in 2022. This forecast is due to trading activities and investments expected to bounce back quickly as soon as world demand increases[25].

6. Eritrea

As of August 2021, several Covid-19 related restrictions have remained unchanged since June 2021. Public spaces are open, but may only operate within a curfew. All businesses should close by 20:00, and cafés and restaurants are expected to close at 21:00. Land and sea borders remain closed, except for cargo movement, subject to strict screening conditions. International flights are operating, albeit at reduced levels[26].

7. Eswatini

International flights to and from Eswatini have been operating since July 2021. Land borders are also operational, with strict Covid-19 screening measures in place. Travelling to the country is still being discouraged due to the recent civil unrest.[27] Trade between Eswatini and Taiwan has grown significantly after the Economic Cooperation Agreement took effect at the end of 2018. Economic exchanges have continued to grow, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Eswatini has become Taiwan’s third-largest source of imported rubbing alcohol. Meanwhile, Taiwan helped Eswatini set up its mask-producing facilities[28].

8. Ethiopia

Overall, the same Covid-19 measures are in place when travelling to and from Ethiopia. Land borders and airports are operating for international travel and cargo movement, albeit with strict measures. For example, most passengers will be subject to 7 days’ mandatory self-isolation on arrival.[29]

In parts of Ethiopia’s Tigray region, forced starvation is the latest stage in a conflict where ethnic Tigrayans have been massacred, gang-raped and expelled. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and other senior officials have denied Tigray’s hunger and associated issues and have blamed Tigray forces and insecurity for troubles with aid delivery. According to Tigray External Affairs Office, at least 150 people starved to death in August. Major international aid groups like Doctors Without Borders and the Norwegian Refugee Council have had their operations suspended. Subsequently, the United States issued an ultimatum to Ethiopia to stop the fighting and let aid flow freely, failing which, the country could face various new sanctions within weeks[30].

9. Kenya

International and domestic flights are operating with strict Covid-19 screening measures in place. Inland land borders are open predominantly for cargo movement only. Non-essential travel and gatherings are still prohibited[31]. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on World Maritime Day, 30 September 2021, between Kenya and Denmark, whereby Denmark pledged to provide training to Kenyans working in the maritime sector, in order to take full advantage of employment opportunities in the Shipping and Maritime sector[32]. In addition, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) received border control and surveillance equipment from Japan’s government to enhance supply chain security and trade facilitation in the country. The equipment includes X-ray baggage scanners, patrol boats and vehicles, Raman spectrometrers, and field test kits[33].

10. Lesotho

A negative Covid19 PCR test is required to enter Lesotho and must be taken 72 hours before arrival at the border. The Government of Lesotho announced that as of 1 August, digitalised African Union (AU) Trusted Travel Certificates will be required for entry and exit. Limited passenger air services between Johannesburg and Moshoeshoe International Airport are operational. The Covid-19 PCR test requirements are the same as for the land borders. The hours of operation at border posts are restricted in line with national curfews in Lesotho and South Africa. Some smaller border posts remain closed. The nationwide overnight curfew is still in place from 23:00 to 04:00[34].

11. Madagascar

On 3 September 2021, the Government of Madagascar declared the national Health State of Emergency. It is mandatory to wear a face mask in all public places. Tourists are partially allowed to enter Madagascar and access is further limited to diplomats, technicians working in strategic sectors, and civil servants with special travel orders. A negative PCR test result is required upon entering, and anyone wanting to enter Madagascar is required to quarantine for up to 5 days[35].

Madagascar has been selected as one of six environmentally-critical landscapes across the globe, which will be receiving funding from the UK Government’s EUR100 million Biodiverse Landscapes Fund. The project aims to tackle biodiversity loss, combat climate change, and help protect 30% of the world’s land and sea by 2030. The landscapes selected are home to rare and endangered species[36].

12. Malawi

A limited number of commercial flights are operating to and from Malawi. On 27 August, Malawi re-opened its borders to non-residents and removed restrictions on travel to and from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Brazil. Furthermore, public gatherings of more than 50 people are not permitted[37]. On a positive note, Standard Bank Malawi is helping Malawian businesses amplify their export capabilities by creating and nurturing synergies with global partners. For example, Nyasa Mining Cooperative (precious stones and jewels) and Saeed Investments Limited (farm produce), two Malawian companies, were paired with numerous buyers from China during a matchmaking event. The event aimed to kick-start a process to enhance their export capabilities by creating and nurturing synergies within their respective industries[38].

13. Mauritius

International tourists entering without vaccinations are allowed, subject to PCR testing and a mandatory 14-day stay in a hotel. Entrance to public beaches is permitted, although picnics remain prohibited. Most businesses, including restaurants and shops, operate, but cinemas, casinos and nightclubs remain closed[39].

It was announced in a recent press release that the OPEC Fund is participating in Mauritius Commercial Bank’s (MCB) USD1 billion syndicated term loan facility for an amount of US42.5 million. The proceeds of this syndicated facility will be used for general corporate purposes, refinancing, and trade finance, all to boost trade facilitation and investment in Mauritius. The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is a multilateral development finance institution established in 1976, which works with developing country partners and international development communities to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low-and middle-income countries[40].

14. Mozambique

On 16 August 2021, new Covid-19 restrictions were announced, for diplomats and residents. There is a national curfew in place within the Greater Maputo area and all provincial capitals: from 22:00 till 04:00. All passengers arriving in Mozambique must present a negative PCR test administered 72 hours before departure, with or without proof of vaccination. The validity of PCR tests for short cross-border trips is now only seven days. Pre-school education is suspended for 30 days nationwide. Public enterprises are open from 8:00 till 2:00, except for essential services, and the private sector is encouraged to follow the same measures.

As Covid-19 vaccine inequity hinders economic recovery in less-developed countries like Mozambique, more emphasis has been placed on trade facilitation measures that boost vaccine distribution projects. The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (the Alliance) digitises application and approval processes for the pre-shipment authorisation of vaccines in Mozambique. In addition, they have managed to integrate the roll-out processes into the country’s existing Single Window system, effectively boosting the fast movement of Covid-19 vaccines. The project is planned to be operational within twelve to eighteen months and aims to drastically reduce the time vaccine shipments are delayed, up to two weeks currently. The Alliance, with its partner UNICEF, is also considering launching a similar project in Botswana[41].

15. Namibia

Since 19 September, the Government of Namibia has implemented several restrictions due to increased Covid-19 cases. All airports and land-sea borders are open for business and cargo movement. Most land and sea borders have been closed for tourist purposes except Katima Mulilo, Ariamsvlei, Noordoewer border posts and Walvis Bay Harbour. Arriving international tourists do not have to quarantine if they present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result that is not older than 72 hours[42].

“Namibia has some of the highest solar irradiance potentials of any country in Africa, with the potential to capture ten hours of strong sunlight per day for 300 days per year.” The President of Namibia has entered into a partnership agreement with the Government of Botswana and the United States – under the auspices of USAID’s Power Africa – which concluded in the signing of a Memorandum of Intent in April 2021. The country intends to invest in solar panel power generation, enough to sustain itself and its neighbours. This project is part of the Second Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPPII), launched in March 2021[43].

16. Rwanda

On 2 September, the Government of Rwanda issued new restrictions in terms of travelling and Covid-19. Passengers arriving from India or Uganda are no longer required to self-quarantine for seven days on arrival. Nevertheless, they need to have a negative PCR Covid-19 test result taken 72 hours before departure. The national curfew is still in place in Kigali from 23:00 to 04:00. In the rest of the country, movement is prohibited between 21:00 and 04:00. Entry at land borders remains open, albeit restricted[44].

During the Rwanda-Zimbabwe Trade and Investment Conference that commenced on 28 September, various Zimbabwean and Rwandese private sector representatives strengthened bilateral trade relations between the two countries. The Conference was initiated as part of Zimbabwe’s National Export Strategy to diversify its exports, despite the challenges Covid-19 brings[45].

17. Seychelles

Covid-19 restrictions in terms of tourists have not changed since since July 2021. International travellers are allowed to enter the country – regardless of vaccine status, although a valid negative PCR test result is compulsory. However, visitors who have travelled from or via countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Pakistan, and South Africa within the previous 14 days are banned from entering the country[46].

The German International Cooperation (GIZ), through its programme Cooperation for the Enhancement of SADC Regional Economic Integration (CESARE), is cooperating with the SADC Secretariat Industrial Development and Trade Directorate (IDT) to support Seychelles in aligning its industrial policy with the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (SISR). This collaboration aims to build capacity in the Ministry of Industry and related departments on formulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating industrial policy performance in Seychelles[47].

18. Somalia

Since 22 September, Authorities in Somalia have tightened the nation’s Covid-19 related restrictions, as a result of a resurgence of infections. Regional and international flights are operating, although all passengers departing from or arriving at the airport must have evidence of a negative PCR test result administered 72 hours before. In addition, travellers who have been in designated high-risk countries (i.e. Uganda, Bangladesh, Mexico, India, and South Africa) within the previous two weeks must self-quarantine upon arrival in Somalia for a period of 14 days. Land borders are operational and bound to the restrictions and curfews of neighbouring countries[48].

Somalia’s new terminal in Berbera, which opened in June this year, can handle the world’s largest ships, thanks to a USD442 million investment from the Dubai-based ports operator DP World. Berbera was once the capital of the British Somaliland protectorate. It was previously a maritime hub for trade between the Horn of Africa, India, and the Arabian Peninsula due to its crucial location opposite Yemen on the Gulf of Aden. The new port is set to establish healthy competition between neighbouring ports and serve Ethiopia, which is currently Africa’s second-most populous country. In addition, a road corridor from Berbera to Wajaale, on the Somaliland-Ethiopia border, is due to be completed by 2022. However, the country still needs to acquire infrastructure development solutions[49].

19. South Africa

On 1 October 2021, the President of South Africa announced that the country would move to alert level 1, due to a significant decline in Covid-19 cases. Furthermore, South Africa has now officially exited its third wave of infections. The national curfew has been amended from 00:00 until 04:00, and the sale of alcohol is permitted according to normal licensing provisions, albeit no alcohol may be sold after 23:00. All land, sea and airports are operational with strict Covid-19 protocols[50].

With the country moving to its most relieved level of lockdown restrictions and its removal from the Netherlands, Germany and the USA’s red list, the country has seen a massive boost in the local tourism, hotel, and leisure industry. There is hope that the UK will also remove South Africa from its red list soon, as English tourists are the most significant single block of tourists who visit the country. Investors are already buying back shares into the hotel industry on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Those in the tourism industry who are upbeat, are spreading hope to young South Africans seeking jobs[51].

20. South Sudan

Authorities in South Sudan tightened Covid-19 related restrictions, which are planned to be in place until at least the end of September. A nationwide curfew has been reinstated from 22:00 to06:00. International and domestic flights are operational, with strict Covid-19 screening measures in place. International travellers planning to arrive at Juba International Airport require South Sudan’s National Taskforce’s permission before entering the country, as well as a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken 96 hours before arrival[52]. In addition, it was announced towards the end of September 2021 that South Africa plans to kick off its USD1 billion investment in South Sudan’s oil sector around November. This investment is bound to tighten trading deals between the two countries and help revitalise oil production, which is crucial for the East African nation[53].

21. Tanzania

International and domestic flights and land borders are operational with strict screening measures in place. Travellers should show proof of a negative Covid-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT)/ PCR test result administered 96 hours before departure. In addition, passengers who in the past 14 days, have been in or transited through Afghanistan, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, USA, Uganda or the United Kingdom, are subject to a Covid-19 antigen test upon arrival, at their own expense[54].

Tanzania Fertiliser Regulatory Authority (TFRA) Executive Director Dr Stephan Ngailo announced its plan to position the country as the nucleus of fertiliser trade in the EAC (East African Community) and SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) member countries, by the construction of a high-tech laboratory. The three-storey ultra-modern laboratory is set to control the quality of domestic and imported fertilisers and should be completed this year[55].

22. Uganda

Land borders and international and domestic flights are operating with strict Covid-19 protocols in place. All passengers should have a negative Covid-19 test result taken 72 hours before arrival. In addition, travellers, excluding children aged three or under, from the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, must undergo PCR testing upon arrival, at their own expense[56].

Uganda and Denmark have been strong trading partners for a couple of years now, and the recent announcement by the Danish Ambassador that Denmark has promised to boost local Uganda’s agriculture sector has been gleefully received. According to the Danish Ambassador, trade between Uganda and Denmark is growing – despite the slowdown of global business and investments caused by Covid-19. Furthermore, Danish companies partnering with local ones  will bring about tremendous benefits, including the introduction of modern equipment Local farmers in Uganda are set to benefit from various agriculture producing opportunities.[57].

23. Zambia

All airports and land borders are open, with strict Covid-19 protocols in place. However, some international flights may be restricted. All travellers should have a negative Covid-19 test result taken 72 hours before departure. In addition, travellers from high-risk countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Colombia, Chile, India, Iran, Iraq, Netherlands, Peru, Spain, Tunisia, and Turkey, must do an additional Covid-19 test within 48 hours after their arrival[58].

An announcement by the Zambian Minister of Land and Natural Resources to suspend the harvesting and export of endangered Mukula trees have been exceptionally welcomed, after illicit trade deals were discovered by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). First, however, the President must enforce an immediate suspension of the international trade of Mukula, through the establishment of a zero-export quota for Zambia under the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)[59].

24. Zimbabwe

From 7 August 2021, the Government of Zimbabwe requires all new arrivals and departures to and from the country to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result via the Trusted Traveller platform available from the Africa CDC website. Land borders and airports are operational with strict Covid-19 protocols in place. A national curfew is in place from 22:00 to 5:30[60].

Prospects of strengthening historical ties and cooperation between Zimbabwe and The Democratic Republic of the Congo has made headway this September. Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Deputy Minister Dr David Musabayana encouraged Zimbabwean companies to further improve their bilateral trade relations with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This call by the Deputy Minister follows the re-arrangement of efforts being managed by the Zimbabwean Government aimed at stimulating market diversification[61].

3. Impact on trade

a. Global merchandise trade

On Wednesday, 18 August, the World Trade Organization (WTO) released their latest “Goods trade barometer[62], which has hit a record high, confirming the strength of trade recovery. The composite indicator, which comprises six drivers of goods trade, reached a reading of 110.4, which is the highest on record since the indicator was first released in July 2016, and up more than 20 points year on year (y/y). The following side-by-side images show the rapid climb of the index and goods trade volume.

Figure 2: Goods trade barometer, and world merchandise trade volume (index history, trend = 100)

Source: WTO

Global goods trade continues to recover after registering a sharp decline in the second quarter of 2020, during the early stages of the pandemic. As a result, the merchandise trade volume was ↑5.7% y/y in the first quarter of 2021, the largest increase since a ↑5.8% rise in the third quarter of 2011. The recovery has been marked by regional disparities, with North America, Europe and Asia regaining lost ground and other regions lagging. The latest barometer reading suggests that goods trade will see an even more significant y/y increase in the second quarter, with growth moderating after that. However, the pace of recovery could be restrained by supply chain disruptions, e.g., the semiconductor shortage that has recently hampered vehicle production.

The Goods Trade Barometer is a composite leading indicator for world trade, providing real-time information on the trajectory of merchandise trade relative to recent trends. The latest reading of 110,4 is up more than 20 points y/y, reflecting the strength of the ongoing recovery and the depth of the pandemic-induced shock last year. Data suggests that the trade recovery may be slowing, as the barometer index has started to rise at a decreasing rate. These results are consistent with the WTO’s most recent forecast of ↑8% growth in world merchandise trade volume in 2021.

All the barometer’s component indices were above trend in the latest month, illustrating the broad-based nature of the trade recovery. Indices for air freight (114.0), container shipping (110,8) and raw materials (104.7) were rising, indicating faster than average growth. The automotive products index (106.6) also rose, even though car production and sales fell in July in some countries due to a shortage of semiconductors (the rise can be explained by smoothing of the underlying data). This shortage is also reflected in a slight drop in the index for electronic components (112.4). The forward-looking export orders index (109.3) has also turned down, suggesting that upward momentum in the trade may have peaked.

b. UNCTAD Trade and Development report

On 15 September, the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its annual “Trade and Development” report for 2021[63]. UNCTAD notes that in 2021, the global economy will bounce back with a growth of ↑5,3%, the fastest in nearly 50 years. But this growth must be seen in perspective, given the effect of the pandemic and the consequently low base off which it is calculated. In addition, the rebound is highly uneven when viewed against regional, sectoral and income lines. Looking ahead, UNCTAD expects global growth to slow to ↑3,6% in 2022, leaving world income still ↓3,7% below where its pre-pandemic trend would have put it, which corresponds to an expected cumulative income loss of about $13 trillion in 2020-22.

For international trade, extraordinary measures such as lockdowns, quarantines, and travel restrictions dramatically affected trade; the international flow of goods and services dropped by ↓5,6% in 2020. Nevertheless, this downturn proved less severe than anticipated, as month on month (m/m) merchandise trade flows in the latter part of 2020 rebounded almost as strongly as they had fallen earlier, which the following figure shows. Consequently, UNCTAD’s modelling projections underpinning the economic growth results yield a real annual global trade growth in goods and services of ↑9,5% in 2021.

Figure 3: World merchandise trade, January 2015 to May 2021 (index, 2010 = 100)

Source: UNCTAD

Still, the recovery has been highly uneven, and the damage will continue to weigh on trade performance for many years to come. UNCTAD cautions that the risks remain tilted to the downside. These risks include low inventory-to-sales ratios, the pandemic-induced shift in consumption habits (notably towards the demand for goods), and the spread of the Delta-variant. Lastly, trade tensions between the United States and China remain elevated, which could likely reverberate worldwide.

c. IMF World Economic outlook:

This week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its quarterly “World Economic Outlook” for the year’s third quarter[64]. In the report, the IMF expressed concern that the global economic recovery has lost momentum and become increasingly divided, even as it stuck by its prediction for a robust rebound from the Covid-19 recession. The headline figure shows that global output is expected at ↑5.9% worldwide this year, ↓0.1% from what is anticipated in July and a bounce from the ↓3.1% contraction of 2020, it said on Tuesday, 13 October 2021, in its latest World Economic Outlook. It held the forecast for 2022 at ↑4.9%. Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at ↑3.7% for 2021 and ↑3.8% for 2022, revised upwards from April’s forecast. The following figure illustrates the current growth projections.

Figure 4: World Economic Outlook – October (growth projections, percentage change)

Source: IMF

The global economy will grow at ↑5,9% in 2021 and ↑4,9% in 2022, as the worldwide forecast is only slightly changed from the July forecast. However, prospects for emerging markets and developing economies have been marked down for 2021. Gita Gopinath’s recurring blog, the IMF’s Chief Economist, outlined dangerous divergence in economic prospects across countries as the biggest concern for growth[65]. Aggregate output for the advanced economy group is expected to regain its pre-pandemic trend path in 2022 and exceed it by 0.9% in 2024. By contrast, aggregate output for the emerging market and developing economy group (excluding China) is expected to remain 5.5% below the pre-pandemic forecast in 2024, resulting in a more considerable setback to improvements in their living standards. The following figure notes the disparities of fortunate across the globe.

Figure 5: World Economic Outlook – October (growth projections, percentage change)

Source: IMF

Gopinath notes that these divergences are a consequence of the “great vaccine divide” and significant disparities in policy support. For example, while almost 60% of the advanced economies are fully vaccinated, and some are now receiving booster shots, about 96% of low-income countries remain unvaccinated. Furthermore, many emerging markets and developing economies, faced with tighter financing conditions and a greater risk of de-anchoring inflation expectations, are withdrawing policy support more quickly – despite more significant shortfalls in output.

d. Ocean freight industry

     i. Global container throughput

Despite the international trade in containers being characterised by pent-up demand, high freight rates, and widespread port congestion, global container throughput is only predicted to grow by ↑5.8% this year. Looking further ahead, the forecast for 2022 currently stands at a reasonably meagre ↑4.0%. These estimations were provided by the August edition of the “Monthly Monitor[66]. For South Africa, the picture is less rosy, as we are expected to barely break even with 2019 throughput numbers, meaning that zero growth will have occurred in the last three years. The following figure shows the growth and throughput.

Figure 6 – Cellular fleet growth (%), and global throughput (TEU millions)

Source: Alphaliner

Some noteworthy points concerning the global container industry include the following:

  • Container capacity has grown by approximately ↑4,5% (~644 000 TEUs) year on year (y/y), roughly in line with throughput growth.
  • Newbuild capacity of 5,2 million TEUs has been ordered, representing 21,3% of the current total.
  • The significant development for the year has been in the charter industry.
  • The equipment struggles in the container industry are not because of a shortage of equipment, but instead because containers are in the wrong places. This situation has created the constant international drive to reposition containers.

In summary, with throughput predicted to grow at a healthy rate in the coming period, hopes of a return to some form of normality in global supply chains after the Chinese New Year in February have been dashed by analysts[67]. As a result, Drewry and MSI now do not expect the supply chain crisis underpinning highly elevated freight rates across several trade lanes to normalise before the end of next year.

    ii. Global freight rates

At the end of September, and for the first time in 24 weeks, Drewry’s “World Container Index” (WCI) composite index fell ↓0,2% (or $16) to $10 361 per 40-ft container[68]. However, this has not stopped global congestion issues from resulting in the container industry being labelled as “in a crisis”[69] and “close to collapse”[70]. In short, pent-up demand cannot be serviced due to the significant obstacles posed by pandemic-induced border restrictions, distancing requirements, factory closures, and the general shortage of labour on the ground. These factors were highlighted in a joint open letter to heads of state and government attending the United Nations General Assembly. All the factors mentioned above have fed directly into the unprecedented surge in freight rates. Optimistically, some expect that recent moves by carriers to cap their spot rate increases, together with the closure of the window for holiday delivery, may mean that rates have peaked for now[71]. The following figure summarises the astonishing rise in the two-year spot price of the index.

Figure 7: World Container Index – assessed by Drewry ($ per 40 ft. container)

Source: Drewry Ports and Terminal insights

The average composite index now stands at ↑292% higher compared to the same time the previous year. Furthermore, the average composite index of the WCI, for the year-to-date, is $6 977 per 40ft container, which is $4 547 higher than the five-year average of $2 430. In either direction, freight rates have not moved by more than ~1-2% in the eight major transatlantic trade lanes. Worth pointing out is that all trade lanes – bar Rotterdam to Shanghai – have increased by more than 100% since last year. The increases are astonishing and significantly impacting the bottom line of all cargo owners and, finally, the economic well-being of consumers.

e. Airfreight industry

On 29 September, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released their monthly “Air Cargo Market Analysis[72] for August. The recent picture remains virtually unchanged, as August was the fourth consecutive month of relative stability in air cargo. As a result, industry-wide cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs) rose by ↑7.7% versus August 2019. The following figure summarises CTKs.

Figure 8: CTK levels, actual and seasonally adjusted (CTKs, billion per month)

Source: IATA Economics

IATA notes that economic conditions continue to support air cargo growth, but are slightly weaker than in the previous months, indicating that global manufacturing growth has peaked. Unfortunately, as is the case in the ocean economy, the lack of additional capacity stifles further growth. This situation is accentuated by the fact that cargo capacity recovery paused in August, ↓12.2% compared to August 2019 (↓13.2% for international operations). In m/m terms, capacity fell by ↓1.6% – the most significant drop since January 2021. The figure below summarises the regional cargo load factor (CLF).

 Figure 9: Cargo load factors by region of airline origin (% of available freight tonne-km, actual)

Source: IATA Economics

The rising cargo demand against falling cargo supply meant that the industry-wide CLF reached a record peak for any month of August, at 54.2%. As is clearly shown above, all regions are substantially up from the same time in 2019[73]. Nevertheless, belly capacity remains an issue, as international belly cargo ACTKs were ↓37.7% in August 2021 compared to August 2019 – a slight improvement on the ↓39.1% fall in July. Regionally, African airlines continued to lead the international CTK growth in August, reporting a ↑33.9% expansion versus August 2019. Amongst the key regional routes, Africa-Asia has been showing the fastest development, at ↑26.4% compared to August 2019.

In summary, an August assessment for international air cargo was provided by IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh: “Many of the economic indicators point to a strong year-end peak season. However, with international travel still severely depressed, fewer passenger planes offer belly capacity for cargo. And supply chain bottlenecks could intensify as businesses continue to ramp up production.”[74]

f. Road freight industry

Some insightful geofencing data captured by the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations (FERSATA) investigates the cross-border delays and associated costs experienced at several regional border posts. It is important to note that only certain SADC borders are currently included in the analysis.

The following graph shows cross-border queue times and transit times of certain SADC border posts. Kasumbalesa, Kopfontein and Ressano Garcia shows the highest queueing time.

Figure 10: Cross border delays in some selected SADC border posts (in hours)

Source: TLC & FESARTA.

The following figure illustrates a similar picture to those above, this time from a corridor perspective.

Figure 11: Cross border delays in some selected SADC trade corridors (in hours)


A delay is considered when either the cross-border queue times and cross-border transit times exceed two hours. The graphs above indicate that the various border-crossings and trade corridors have recently experienced cross-border transit delays, especially cargo moving through the Trans-Kalahari and North-South trade corridors. The industry has voiced poor efficiency from government agencies, together with runners and clearing agents not working at nigh,t as the main drivers of the delays.

Notable is a decline in border disruptions due to gate closures of late. However, the ongoing problems and delays at Beitbridge remain a concern. The industry is curious to see how the opening of a new parking area on 6 October will improve the flow. In addition, transporters are not happy with the proposed access fee of USD175, irrespective of direction or load. Some positive news comes from Zambia. In response to the roadblocks and recurring delays reported in the week of 6 September to 12 September, Zambia’s new Minister of Home Affairs has banned all police roadblocks, except for permanently authorised security blocks. This positive move for trade facilitation should lead to less extortion from truck drivers and motorists and improved transit times. Furthermore, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has called a patrol vehicle into service, with ZRP assisting in efforts after reports were received of robberies on the Harare-Chirundu Road.

4. ESA Covid-19 statistics

Africa, the second largest continent globally in both area and population, continues to face challenges posed by political tensions, severe poverty, terrorism, damages due to floods and deadly diseases. Due to the restrictions posed by the pandemic, economic growth for the year 2020 has dropped significantly for the Continent, where an average contraction of -2.1% has been recorded, according to the African Development Bank Group[75]. In addition, residents are left vulnerable to the virus due to limited vaccine supplies and other resources. The East and Southern Africa region account for approximately 56% of Africa’s population.

Figure 12: East and Southern Africa’s share in Africa’s total Covid-19 cases[76]

The ESA region’s percentage of total African infections has declined since the end of January 2021, but this picked up slightly after May 2021, when a third wave of infections hit most African countries. Again, a slight dip in the number of positive cases in July 2021, against an incline since the beginning of September 2021, was recorded. Notable also is the steady increase in the number of positive cases in the ESA region towards the end of 2021. Once again, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Kenya lead the greatest number of Covid-19 cases in the ESA region. South Africa accounts for most Covid-19 cases, with over 2.89 million positive cases reported at the time of writing. Ethiopia is steadily following with over 343 104 positive cases, and Kenya has over 248 770 positive cases.

Figure 13: Distribution of infections across the East and Southern Africa Region[77]

5. Vaccine roll-out recommendations

a. World Customs Organization

Fortunately, Private-Public partnerships (PPPs), co=ordination, and co-operation among key stakeholders have proven to be critical factors in the success of vaccine roll-out projects globally. Many innovative PPP projects in Africa have been established and built to serve the Continent and industry for years to come. In addition, the World Customs Organization (WCO) was quick to identify the key role that Customs Administrations must play in creating comprehensive online guidance on the processes and policies required to ensure that vaccines and ancillary products are distributed as quickly and as safely as possible.

To streamline the global supply chain’s overall operation and facilitate the cross-border trade of Covid-19 medical supplies, the WCO has actively been working together with the WTO, WHO, and other associated organisations on various projects. Various valuable outcomes were recorded during these collaborations, which refer to the guidance materials developed to facilitate cross-border movement of critical medical supplies, including highlighting existing HS classification for critical medicines, vaccines and associated medical supplies necessary for their manufacture, distribution, and use. In addition, the Joint Indicative List of Critical Covid-19 Vaccine Inputs were issued on 13 July 2021. The list was jointly produced with the Asian Development Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Customs Organization, some COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, researchers Chad Bown and Chris Rogers, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and DHL. This list has been widely requested by the trade and pharmaceutical community and governments, aimed to assist in identifying and monitoring the cross-border movement of the critical vaccine inputs[78].

6. Regional Economic Communities

Some of the regional economic communities in East and Southern Africa created promising initiatives aimed at helping the region to have fair access to vaccines and focus on ways to fast-track the movement towards herd immunity. Thus, even though certain factors have slowed down progress, RECs are focusing on moving forward.

a. COMESA[79]

During a two-day webinar on strategies to improve Covid-19 vaccines roll-out and uptake in COMESA Member States, regional health experts pointed out that the most critical barriers to vaccine uptake in the region are vaccine hesitancy and delivery constraints. Among others in attendance were government officials led by Permanent Secretaries, health professionals, international partners, civil society organisations, and regional economic communities.

Interestingly enough, Rwanda’s vaccine distribution strategy plan was pointed out as the best case study: the country has been able to vaccinate over 380, 000 people in only three weeks after receiving the first dose of 350,000 doses. Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Dr Daniel Ngamije, advised that strong leadership from the highest level, efficient co-ordination mechanisms, effective partnerships and community engagement, as well as the use of opinion leaders, are all crucial factors for a successful vaccine roll-out and uptake project.

Member states were urged to:

  • Support the implementation of the African CDC programme on Saving Lives, Economies and Livelihood Trusted Vaccines. This programme focuses on vaccine procurement, strengthened regional vaccine logistics and rollout, the establishment of vaccination centres, and technical assistance.
  • Support the new Africa CDC Public Health Order, which focuses on strengthening public health institutions and the workforce, expanding the manufacturing of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics and respectful action-oriented partnerships.
  • Learn from each other and adopt strategies to improve vaccine awareness and overcome the existing barriers halting vaccine uptake and administration, despite the challenges faced in accessing vaccines due to limited global supply.


In conclusion, it is evident that the region is still grappling with the virus, as a substantial amount of Covid-19 cases have been recorded since the previous quarter, although expected, as the virus makes its presence felt through the region. This situation emphasises the importance of developing strategies to narrow the gap between high-income and low-income countries in terms of vaccine supplies. Nevertheless, with ever-changing restrictions placed on the movement of goods and people within the ESA region and African Continent, it has become much more challenging for all stakeholders to conduct business. Therefore, ongoing business activity is vital for African economies to survive and grow.

Furthermore, African nations have the unique and rigid task of restructuring policies, logistics, supply chains, customs clearance procedures and communication avenues to ensure successful vaccine roll-out initiatives. Unfortunately, many African business models are still a long way from capturing technological advances which allow for remote functioning. In addition, limited Covid-19 vaccine supplies and obstructed distribution capabilities capture the unique challenges faced by African citizens and business owners. It is, however, promising to note that overall, business activity has been able to stabilise somewhat and adapt to the new trading environment within the ESA region.

Finally, in concluding this edition, concerted efforts are continuing to expedite and harmonize border processes and facilitate international trade. Ultimately, it is the building of capacity throughout the industry that will enable efficiencies in cross-border trade. But, continuing the constant refrain as expressed through the evolution of this report, a crucial component of facilitating trade and lifting the entire industry lies in the partnerships between industry stakeholders and government entities, ensuring compliance.

[1] IMF. 12/10/2021. World Economic Outlook.

[2] AfDB. 12/03/2021. African Economic Outlook.

[3] WCO ESA RPSG. 06/10/2021. An overview of the Covid-19 vaccine uptake in Africa.

[4] African Development Bank Group. Overview of East Africa.

[5] African Development Bank Group. South Africa Economic Outlook.

[6] African Development Bank Group. Zambia Economic Outlook

[7] African Development Bank Group. Mozambique Economic Outlook

[8] African Development Bank Group.  Zimbabwe Economic Outlook

[9] African Development Bank Group. Eswatini Economic Outlook.

[10] World Health Organization. 06/10/2021. Africa-COVID-19 Vaccine update

[11] World Health Organization Africa. 30/09/2021. Fifteen African countries hit 10% COVID-19 vaccination goal

[12] Statista. Number of administered coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine doses per 100 people in Africa as of September 11, 2021, by country

[13] World Health Organization Africa. 30/09/2021. Fifteen African countries hit 10% COVID-19 vaccination goal

[14] Gardaworld. 1/09/2021. Angola: Authorities lift COVID-19 lockdown in Luanda Sept. 1; international travel restrictions remain in place /update 26

[15] Zenildo dos Santos. EnergyCapital&Power. 28/09/2021. Angola: Construction of Oceanic Terminal Officially Underway

[16] Travelbans. 07/09/2021. Botswana. Full Restrictions

[17] 31/08/2021. Gaborone Won’t Sideline Foreign Nationals in Vaccine Drive

[18] Travelbands. 22/09/2021. Burundi. Full restrictions

[19] Africanews. 04/08/2021. Burundi prepares to receive COVID vaccines

[20] Africanews. 13/09/2021. Burundi launches massive COVID-19 testing among students, teachers

[21] Wego Travel Blog. 28/09/2021. Comoros (Travel Restrictions, COVID Tests & Quarantine Requirements)

[22] AllAfrica. 30/08/2021. Comoros: Cameroon-Comoros – Deeper Economic Ties

[23] Travelbans. 27/09/2021. Djibouti. Full restrictions

[24] Republic de Djibouti. 20/09/2021. COVID-19: Launch of the accelerated vaccination strategy.

[25] The African Development Bank Group. 2021. Djibouti Economic Outlook

[26] GardaWorld. 12/08/2021. Eritrea: The government maintains certain domestic COVID-19 restrictions as of Aug. 12; international entry controls remain largely unchanged /update 14

[27] Travelbans. 7/07/2021. eSwatini.Full restrictions.

[28] Rti. John van Triesde 30/09/2021. Taiwan and Eswatini hold meeting on economic cooperation


[30] Independent. 20/09/2021. ‘I just cry’: Dying of hunger in Ethiopia’s blockaded Tigray

[31] US Embassy in Kenya. 23/09/2021. Covid-19 information

[32] KBC. Christine Muchira. 30/09/2021. Kenya, Denmark partner on maritime training

[33] AllAfrica. Fatiha Shabir. 30/09/2021. Kenya: KRA Receives Border Control and Surveillance Equipment From Japan

[34] Travelbans. 20/09/2021. Lesotho. Full restrictions

[35] Wego Travel Blog. 3/10/2021. Madagascar (Travel Restrictions, COVID Tests & Quarantine Requirements)

[36] GOV.UK. 23/09/2021. Madagascar to benefit from lifeline for some the world’s most precious biodiverse habitats

[37] Travelbans. 31/08/2021. Malawi. Full restrictions

[38] AllAfrica. Peter Makossah. 7/09/2021. Malawi: Standard Bank Pairs Local Businesses to Chinese Traders to Increase Export Capacity

[39] Travelbans. 01/10/2021. Mauritius. Full restrictions

[40] ZAWYA by Refinity. 2021. OPEC Fund loan to MCB to promote international trade in Mauritius and sub-Saharan Africa

[41] World Economic Forum. Violeta Gonzalez Behar. Helen Castell. 27/09/2021. Trade facilitation is a quick win for vaccine equity. Here’s why

[42] Travelbans. 18/09/2021. Namibia.Full restrictions

[43] The European Sting. World Economic Forum. Hage G. Geingob, Office of the President of Namibia. 4/10/2021. Namibia is poised to become the renewable energy hub of Africa

[44] Travelbans. 28/09/2021. Rwanda. Full Restrictions

[45] AllAfrica. The Herald. 28/09/2021. Zim, Rwanda Trade, Investment Conference Begins

[46] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism. 13/09/2021. Seychelles Travel Advisory for Visitors.

[47] Mail& Guardian. 10/09/2021. Consultancy on capacity building and industrial policy development in Seychelles: GIZ

[48] Gardaworld. 22/09/2021. Somalia: Authorities tighten COVID-19-related restrictions as of Sept. 22 /update 17

[49] Financial times. Andres Schipani. 2/09/2021. Somaliland gears up for ‘healthy’ battle of ports

[50] BusinessTech. Stadd Writer. 30/09/2021. These are all South Africa’s adjusted level 1 lockdown changes – including vaccine certificates

[51] Business Maverick. Sasha Planting. 4/10/2021. South Africa’s travel and leisure stocks buoyed by global easing of Covid restrictions

[52] Gardaworld. 30/08/2021. South Sudan: Authorities tighten domestic COVID-19-related restrictions through at least Sept. 30 /update 16

[53] Moneyweb. Okech Francis, Bloomber. 27/09/2021. SA’s R15bn South Sudanese oil push to start in November

[54] Wego Travel Blog. 3/10/2021. Tanzania (Travel Restrictions, COVID Tests & Quarantine Requirements)

[55] AllAfrica. Tanzania Daily news. 3/10/2021. Tanzania: Construction of Modern Fertiliser Lab Kicks Off in Dar

[56] Travelbans. 29/09/2021. Uganda. Full restrictions.

[57] AllAfrica. The Monitor. Tom Brian Angunni. 14/09/2021. Uganda: Denmark to Boost Uganda’s Agriculture Sector

[58] Travelbans.04/10/2021. Zambia. Full restrictions.

[59] Transparency International. 29/09/2021. Zambia: Makulu trade suspension welcome move, further audit needed for corruption allegations.

[60] U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe. COVID-19 Information.

[61] AllAfrica. 17/09/2021. Congo-Kinshasa: Zimbabwe, DRC Pursue Stronger Trade Relations

[62] WTO. 18/08/2021. Goods trade barometer

[63] UNCTAD. 15/09/2021. Trade and Development report.

[64] IMF. 27/07/2021. World Economic Outlook.

[65] Gopinath, G. 12/10/2021. A Hobbled Recovery Along Entrenched Fault Lines.

[66] Alphaliner. 2021. Monthly Monitor: August.

[67] Wackett, M. 07/10/2021. Shipper hopes dashed with prediction of no supply chain recovery before Q4 22.

[68] Drewry Supply Chain Advisors. 30/09/2021. World Container Index.

[69] Plimmer, G. 29/09/2021. Global supply chains at risk of collapse, warn business leaders.

[70] Whiteman, A. 30/09/2021. Global supply chains ‘close to collapse’ – transport workers must move freely.

[71] Baker, J. 27/09/2021. Box freight rates plateau ahead of Golden Week.

[72] IATA. 29/09/2021. Air Cargo Market Analysis.

[73] IATA notes that: “As comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted, all comparisons below are to August 2019 which followed a normal demand pattern.”

[74] IATA. 29/09/2021. Press Release No: 62. Air Cargo Up 7.7% in August Versus Pre-COVID Levels; Capacity Lagging Demand.

[75] African Development Bank Group. Overview of East Africa.

[76] Author’s own calculations using WHO data collected over the period.

[77] Author’s own calculations using WHO data collected over the period.

[78] World Customs Organization. 14/07/2021. Joint Indicative List of Critical COVID-19 Vaccine Inputs issued by the joint effort of WCO/WTO and other organizations

[79] COMESA.e-COMESA Newsletter. 09/08/2021. COMESA- Africa CDC joint initiative to enhance vaccination uptake