GoGettaz COVID Survey: Raising a Call to Action
“Even before this crisis, Africa was a tough place in the world to do business and yet everyday young people across the continent get up and run their businesses against these almost insurmountable odds. We are the toughest entrepreneurs in the world, and I know we shall come out of this period stronger than before.”GoGettaz Survey Respondent.
A month ago, we asked YOU, the GoGettaz community, to share how the pandemic was impacting your agri-food businesses. The response was compelling. As consumers stay at home, transport halts, and supply chains get disrupted, you are driving the innovations and adaptations that will be vital to Africa sustaining its food markets and retaining people’s livelihoods. Your businesses are also under extreme stress and you need help as you rise to the immense challenge. Over half of you expect to contract or close your operations.
“We were just starting to get out of the ‘valley of death’ and we are most likely heading back, meaning more time to struggle or even not recovering at all”GoGettaz Survey Respondent.
The Generation Africa team have heard your messages loud and clear. Our “Ambassadors Group” of top-level leaders discussed your requests and have issued a Call to Action to the institutions and governments that are best positioned to help, including in the following ways:
- Policy: You need government to ensure pandemic responses protect the agri-food sector, maintain trade, accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation, and ensure liquidity.
- Finance: You need rapid, flexible access to capital to ensure adaptation, resilience and growth of agri-food MSMEs as you respond to the massive disruption.
- Education: You need targeted online training in key skills such as business resilience skills, online operations and health risk management.
- Advocacy: You need your voices championed at national, continental and global levels.
With this help, agrifood entrepreneurs may just avert a cascade of catastrophic consequences. The UN fears that globally the pandemic will push 135 million people into acute hunger, with Africa hardest hit; and the World Bank warns 23 million Africans may fall into extreme poverty. With every innovation and adaptation, your businesses are forming a shield protecting the agrifood economy. As you set up online sales to consumers, source chicken feed locally, send trucks to pick up produce direct from farmers, and drying cassava for storage; you are saving lives and livelihoods and forging a stronger, more resilient food system for the decades to come.
“The pandemic makes it clear to our customers that they really need home delivery and that it is not a luxury”GoGettaz Survey Respondent.
Already, institutions are starting to respond. The Agripreneurship Alliance is giving some of our GoGettaz the amazing opportunity for to join their online course. (You just need to apply to this year’s GoGettaz Agripreneurship Prize to be eligible). IFAD has seeded a new fund to support production, market access and employment. Much more is needed, but please know that we have heeded your call and are advocating on your behalf.
Thank you for all you do to feed the continent. We salute you!