19 May 2021 / 14:00 to 15:30
Policy dialogue

TIPS Development Dialogue – The economic impact of COVID-19 on SADC

On 19 May 2021, TIPS is hosting a development dialogue on the economic impact of COVID-19 on SADC.

As in the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic had a severe economic fall-out in southern Africa, which endured an economic depression in 2020. The economic outcomes varied significantly over the course of the year, however. A sharp downturn linked to regional and international lockdowns in the second quarter was followed by a rebound in the remainder of the year. For 2020 as a whole, the regional GDP was around 6% below 2019.

The available evidence indicates that the pandemic depression aggravated inequalities in southern Africa, which were already amongst the worst in the world. Less skilled workers saw disproportionate loss of livelihoods; small businesses were also more likely to close down than larger ones; and government cuts to services in response to falling revenues had the sharpest impact on low-income households and communities.

This Development Dialogue takes place in the context of the SA-TIED programme. It will provide an overview of the economic impact on SADC, and then unpack the specific issues impacting on Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.


Themba Khumalo is the Director of Africa Integration and Industrial Development at South Africa’s Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

Neva Makgetla is a senior economist at TIPS. Makgetla has published widely on the South African economy and worked for many years in government.

Klaus Schade is an independent economic analyst in Namibia.

Gibson Chigumira is the Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis & Research Unit (ZEPARU).

Itumeleng Mokoena is an intern at TIPS.


Register for the event, here.