In an effort to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, global measures were implemented to reduce social gatherings and economic activity so as to limit the potential for exposure. Economies took a major hit, and Africa was not exempt. Now, as the pace of vaccinations increases and positive case numbers dwindle, governments across the continent have eased restrictions, aiming to kickstart an economic recovery post-pandemic.
Easing Restrictions Improves Business
With the easing of regulations including social gatherings, business and travel, Africa is on track to resume economic activity across every sector. Most notably, the easing of travel restrictions is set to spark an influx in business activity across the continent, with travel networks both within Africa and internationally reopening. The introduction and dissemination of a number of COVID-19 vaccinations has made it possible for travel to resume globally, making way for numerous economic benefits in Africa.
Firstly, travel will improve tourism across the continent, improving revenue and industry growth. According to InvestmentMonitor, international tourism inbound receipts in Africa amounted to $24.7 billion in 2019. Tourism expenditure in South Africa alone contributed approximately R209 billion to GDP in 2019 with 773,533 people employed in the formal sector. Secondly, job creation at both a local and international level will see a push as more businesses reopen and economic activity revitalizes. In order to address unemployment in Africa, upwards of 15 million jobs need to be created each year by 2025 in Africa, and the easing of restrictions will play a critical role in making this happen. Finally, new opportunities for Africa’s events industry will be introduced, paving the way for large-scale energy events to not only take place but help drive a post-COVID-19 economic recovery in 2022.
Large-Scale Events Trigger Post-COVID-19 Recovery
As travel restrictions to and throughout Africa become more relaxed, large-scale events have been announced which will be critical for attracting investment, driving development and kickstarting multi-sector growth in 2022 and beyond. The events Organized by the leading investment platform for the African energy sector, Energy Capital & Power (ECP), will unite regional and international stakeholders in key locations across the continent and will be instrumental in triggering economic development on a regional basis.
Notably, in Angola, where the third edition of the Angola Oil & Gas conference will take place from November 29 and 30 to December 1, 2022, passengers arriving and departing from the country are required to show proof of vaccination and a negative PCR COVID-19 results taken up to 72 hours before travel; the national curfew has been lifted; and restaurants, businesses, cultural or art fairs, and media centers are allowed to operate at full capacity.
In Senegal, where the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference and Exhibition will take place from September 1-2, 2022, international flights are operating for travelers showcasing a negative PCR COVID-19 test result no more than five days before arrival or full vaccination received at least 14 days before the travel date; businesses, restaurants, markets and sporting events can operate at full capacity and public transportation and taxi services may operate at full capacity. Similarly, international travel has reopened to South Sudan, where the fifth edition of the South Sudan Oil & Power Conference & Exhibition will take place from September 13-14, 2022. Turkish Airlines has recently opened a flight route to the east African country, paving the way for new business and travel opportunities between the two countries as well as between South Sudan and international destinations.
Finally, in South Africa, the national state of disaster was officially lifted in April 2022 after 750 days of implementation. With travel, gatherings and business restrictions lifted, the country is set to see a rapid economic recovery on the back of improved economic activity and growth. Driving this recovery, the 2022 edition of African Energy Week (AEW) – taking place from October 18-21 in Cape Town – will be the face of Africa’s resurrected events industry. In 2021, AEW proved that events in Africa can and must take place in a post-COVID-19 context, and in 2022, this will be no different.
As Africa strives for multi-sector development, improved energy access and accelerated economic growth, ECP’s events will be a significant component in the drive towards development. For more information on ECP’s exciting event lineup in 2022, view the event calendar here.