The Effect of COVID 19 to Organizations in Sub Saharan Africa


Since the first COVID 19 case in Africa was announced, things have never been the same in the organization's supply chain in the continent. Organizations' operations were shut down due to supply chain disruptions, as a result of China lock-down to control the spread of COVID 19. Talk of companies being closed, massive lay-offs, suspension of flights from corona affected countries to curfews, which has halted economies in almost the entire continent.

Organizations have been experiencing prolonged lead times as a result of the shut-down in China and Europe. Delayed pre-shipment inspection from the source due to inspectors restricted movement. For the inspectors to move from one country to another they require to be quarantined for 14 days, conduct inspection and move to another destination which also requires another 14 days' quarantine. This means the inspector require an entire month to move from one country to the other, becoming impossible hence delayed shipping. Shippers are now forced to ship without pre-shipment inspection causing huge penalties, increasing shipping costs. Similarly, the case of having skeleton staff working in the ports of exit and entry slowing down the clearance of shipments.


The global shut down which has affected the African continent has led to the organization's production stoppages due to lack of raw material supplies, spare parts, and machine supplies, plus cancelled orders for goods supplies as a result of the lockdown. Production stoppages have led to lost sales especially for organizations producing non-essential products. However, on the positive note, the pandemic has also brought in new business for organizations like Tesla in the United States, which has started to manufacture respirators and ventilators to much the demand in the supply chain.


With the increasing tread of infections and deaths in the continent, it is difficult to assess the supply chain damage caused by the pandemic, and how long it will take for organizations to recover. The US $ 592.4 million (2019) Kenya flower industry has been highly affected since the buying countries in Europe have been hit hard by the pandemic. Being a perishable product shipped through airfreight, the suspension of flights to and from COVID 19 affected countries has halted the industry supply chain causing huge losses.


This article was presented by:

Dr. Paul Jilani - DBA, MCIPS, CHSCA

Supply Chain, Procurement & Logistics Expert | Certified ICF Executive Coach | Certified Healthcare Supply Chain Analyst

CEO & Founder – NADHIFU Consultancy Limited

Email: paul.jilani@nadhifu.co.ke

LinkedIn - Profile


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.


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