EFFECT OF COVID19 IN THE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN NIGERIA AND CHINA
COVID-19, first detected in Wuhan, China late last year, has so far spread to over 166 countries, areas, and territories, infected over 207,500 people, and killed over 8,650 people. It has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. The disease is not just having health effects. The virus continues to prompt travel restrictions within countries and across borders, and it has resulted in drastically reduced flows of people, services, goods, and money. Factories and companies have been closed indefinitely in mainland China, affecting the manufacturing of goods and trade between China and the rest of the world, including African countries. As a result, the world has seen oil prices plummet and stock markets tumble, and these challenges show no real sign of easing.
Before COVID-19 hit, Africa was forecast by the IMF to have six out of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies in 2020. That growth was much needed. Africa is also the continent with the largest numbers of poor people in the world – now estimated at over 400 million.
Yet it looks like the COVID-19 economic shocks could lead to a sharp increase in poverty, making it even harder for the continent to achieve the already extremely demanding UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. There are anecdotal reports of the economic fallout everywhere – for instance that South Africa, Nigeria, and Angola are already suffering from commodity price drops, and that Kenyan retailers are depleting stocks made in China and cannot find cheap alternatives. But how hard are these countries really being hit compared to others outside of Africa? And which countries will really be the hardest hit across Africa? To answer these questions, we have to go back to basics.