Shutting down its economy like the rest of the world is a price Africa cannot afford to pay, I wrote in an opinion piece for the South China Morning Post in March on the effect of the coronavirus on the continent.

I said that because extreme poverty and the size of the informal economy across the continent would leave too many people vulnerable. The poverty rate across Africa is about 40%. The range of the informal sector is 40%-85%, depending on the country. If those folks don’t work, they don’t eat. It’s that simple. A shutdown of the economy for almost any duration is, literally, life threatening...

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