Coronavirus: The World Bank advises African countries to open borders

Coronavirus: The World Bank advises African countries to open borders

- The World Bank has advised African countries to reopen their borders to allow for the transport of essential commodities

- It argued that the closure of borders could lead to an increase in the prices of certain products

- The World Bank revealed that 31 African countries had closed their borders by the end of March

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The World Bank has advised African countries to reopen their borders even as the coronavirus continues to affect people globally.

It argued that there is an urgent need for the transport of medical supplies, food and other necessities.

The World Bank revealed that at the end of March, 31 countries had closed their borders.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Limpopo, Eastern Cape records 1st deaths as toll rises to 48

A Business and Financial Times report shows that cross-border trade on a small scale helps provide for about 43% of Africa’s population.

Activities in such areas, Briefly.co.za has learned, are mostly agricultural products needed to maintain food security.

The World Bank, however, added that it is necessary for the borders to be consistent with a strategy of containment and in accordance with multilateral provisions of transit.

It added that restrictions on exports could lead to an increase in the prices of Covid-19-related foods.

The measure, the bank went on, could also limit the supply of such products to areas that need them the most.

The World Bank cautioned African countries against measures such as lockdowns adopted to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

It argued that such measures may work well in advanced countries but may come with challenges in Africa. For that reason, it went on, it is necessary for African governments to design systems that would suit prevailing conditions.

The strategy has backfired in some African countries because most of the workforce is in the informal sector.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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