Africa’s global mobility continues to suffer as the world watches the COVID-19 crisis in India. Several African countries have introduced travel restrictions, and some have temporarily banned travel from India. This comes as India’s coronavirus cases skyrocket and new infection numbers reach record numbers.
Africa is largely dependent on India for their vaccine supply as India, whose Serum Institute is the source of the AstraZeneca vaccines delivered by the global COVAX project. India has placed an export ban on vaccines due to the increased domestic demand. This has adversely affected Africa’s rollout of its vaccination programs.
Countries in Africa have introduced new travel restrictions in response to India’s COVID-19 crisis:
- Malawi – Malawi’s Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has also announced a ban on travellers from India.
- Nigeria – Nigeria’s chairman of the presidential steering committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced in a statement that the country will ban travellers coming from India from May 4.
- Tanzania – Tanzania’s health ministry announced that Tanzania has suspended flights to and from India amid the Covid-19 surge in India.
- Kenya – Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe has announced that flights to and from India will be temporarily banned for the next two weeks from May 1st.
- Uganda – Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng reported that Uganda has so far recorded one case of the Indian strain of the coronavirus. “Further to the existing Covid-19 control measures, all travellers and passengers originating from India shall not be allowed into Uganda starting at midnight of May 1, 2021,” she said.
Not only is the COVID-19 a threat to Africa’s vaccine supply but also global economic growth. India is the world’s sixth-largest economy and is a contributor to economic growth. These new strict travel restrictions affect the airlines and airports, and businesses dependent on the travel industry.
One of the industries heavily dependent on the travel industry is the global mobility industry. PWC reports that “40% of companies told us the pandemic has had a moderate or significant impact on the ability of mobile employees to continue with business as usual. Two-thirds of companies who had employees on secondment or transfer at the outset of the pandemic had offered them the option of returning home. As for future relocations, many have been postponed, but 58% of surveyed companies said they were allowing employees to start new roles from their home country.”
This is an adverse effect for the global mobility industry in Africa, as smaller African economies depend on the mobility of employees from large transnational companies. The ripple effect on smaller economies is much to think about. As Relocation Africa, a global mobility and immigration company, we know have seen and felt the struggles of this pandemic. We can only hope that in the near future, things will look up. In our next article, we speak in greater detail about the COVID-19 impact on global mobility.
At Relocation Africa, we specialise in mobility, research, immigration and remuneration. Feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help.