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Canada backs socio-economic Covid-19 research in Africa

Projects to focus on economic policies, empowerment and accountability

Canada’s International Development Research Centre has awarded funding to numerous African research institutions to research the socio-economic impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The IDRC announced 21 projects that will share CA$25 million (US$18.8m) on 21 September. Fourteen of the projects will focus on the continent and involve African researchers.

“This support will strengthen efforts to reach relevant actors in governments and other sectors who can put the necessary measures in place to protect those who are suffering most and to ensure equity and sustainability during the recovery period,” said an IDRC statement.

The projects will focus broadly on economic recovery policies, protection of informal and small businesses as well as women workers, and stimulating accountability and inclusion.

Economic projects include addressing the Covid-19 recession and recovery in an inclusive, gender-equal manner in Kenya and Tanzania, and the unequal and gender-specific economic impact of the pandemic in Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia.

Small business projects include the impact of the pandemic on informal businesses in Francophone Africa and a “new digital deal” for post-Covid-19 development in Nigeria and South Africa.

The accountability projects will touch on effective social protection and safety nets in Egypt and Tunisia and the impact of Covid-19 on social cohesion and governance in Benin, Burkina Faso, and South Africa.