La riposte économique contre la Covid-19 en Afrique francophone: l'«espace politique en question»

Cameroon - 30 October 2022

Trade topics: COVID-19, Africa, Trade Policy

Africa, while less impacted than other regions of the world, is still facing disastrous consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, African countries, especially those in French-speaking Africa, have provided less support to their economies during the crisis compared to other nations. This situation has brought about renewed debates on political space in these countries. Political space is a concept developed and popularized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) over the past two decades, referring to the leeway a country has in developing and implementing its economic policies. The purpose of this study is therefore to analyze the various constraints weighing on the political space in French-speaking African countries. Analysis of the data reveals that the French-speaking African countries were off to a bad start because their political space was already shrinking before the pandemic. High debt ratios, poor debt management policies, weak capacity to mobilize domestic resources, and international monetary and financial commitments have all contributed to shrinking policy space available to these countries to cope with the economic shock of the pandemic.