nairobiThe spread of COVID-19 poses a challenge for emerging markets such as those in Africa and Latin America. While governments around the world are suffering from a shortage of ventilators, hospital beds, and personal protective equipment, availability of these items is already extremely limited in some countries. In Africa, countries including Mali, Liberia, and Burkina Faso have only a few ventilators available to aid their populations, and there is also a lack of reliable oxygen supplies, ICUs, and healthcare workers to treat the sick. Additionally, many countries in Africa are already suffering from food insecurity and weak economies, which will worsen the long-term effects of coronavirus.

While some governments in Africa have been proactive about lockdowns in order to prevent the virus from quickly spreading through densely populated areas, coronavirus is already present in many African nations, and there is a fear that the worst is yet to come. As seen following the West African Ebola crisis, a health crisis such as coronavirus hitting vulnerable populations can result in devastating effects for both development and consumerism.

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Data on Coronavirus in Africa

Keeping these factors in mind, GeoPoll conducted a remote study in 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa on the effects coronavirus is already having on people throughout the region. The impact of the virus will have broad-reaching implications across all sectors, and while we could not cover every relevant topic in this study, we sought to use our experience conducting research for both international development groups and the consumer sector to include a wide range of topics. Respondents for this study were recruited from the GeoPoll database and have been placed into an ongoing panel, and are unique from those taking other coronavirus-related studies.

Areas that are covered in this study include:

  • Biggest concerns and perceptions of risk surrounding coronavirus
  • Preventative measures such as social distancing and handwashing practices
  • Changes in food market operability and food security
  • Changes in consumer habits, including purchasing of food and nonessential items
  • Levels of trust in governments and the commercial sector
  • Information sources on COVID-19 and changes in media consumption
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We plan to run this study on an ongoing basis to see how perceptions and reactions to coronavirus, as well as consumer behavior and food availability, change over time. GeoPoll’s full insights report on this data is available for download here and in French here. You can also view the results in the interactive dashboard below, which will be updated with new data over time. To sign up for updates on new data related to coronavirus, please click here.

Interactive Dashboard


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