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While sub-Saharan Africa has not experienced as many COVID-19 cases as other regions, countries throughout the area have been under varying levels of restrictions which have nevertheless had a huge impact on life. A report by GeoPoll in July 2020 found that 76% in 6 countries in sub-Saharan Africa had lost income due to COVID-19, a figure that is influenced by the large percentage of the population who operate in the informal economy. Organizations including the World Bank and World Food Programme have warned of the rise in food insecurity due to high prices for goods and income loss, among other factors.

Consumer spending is also experiencing changes; as the holiday season approaches, a study from McKinsey in South Africa found ongoing reductions in discretionary spending, and that 88% of households expect to spend the same or less on the holidays as they did last year. In the meantime, news of pending vaccines is bringing hope that normalcy may return in 2021.

With these topics in mind, in November 2020 GeoPoll conducted a study in Côte D’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa to gauge how lives have changed in 2020, people’s views on the future, and their willingness to take a vaccine.

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This report compares results from this most recent study with GeoPoll’s previous studies, which covered topics from the perception of the disease to the economic impacts of COVID-19 in multiple African countries. The main topics covered in this study are:

  • Changes to routines, mental and physical health since COVID-19
  • The ongoing economic impact of COVID-19
  • Changes to consumer spending, ecommerce and mobile money usage during COVID-19, and predicted holiday spending in 2020
  • Perceptions of vaccines and willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine

Findings demonstrate that COVID-19 continues to have huge impacts on the financial stability of those in sub-Saharan Africa, and that these financial impacts are leading to mental health challenges for many. The effects of the virus are especially pronounced in Kenya and South Africa, where restrictions have been the most severe.

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Click below to download GeoPoll’s full written report, or view data in the interactive dashboard.

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Data: Financial Impact, Vaccine Acceptance, and more in 6 African Nations

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