By the end of 2019, the world had experienced one of the most devastating shocks of a pandemic for which it had not adequately prepared, resulting in the complete shutdown of most economies. The median global GDP fell by 3.9% from 2019 to 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This is the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The harsh reality of the pandemic in Africa is the near-collapse of its young and fragile economies, which has hurt Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Businesses (MSME).
BudgIT Ghana, with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and Oxlade Consulting, hosted a town hall meeting in the Kasoa Township – Central Region of Ghana, to document the COVID-19 experiences and the impact of the pandemic on women-led businesses in West Africa, as well as students and the disabled.
The BudgIT Ghana team engaged the town hall meeting participants on the topic of “Pre and Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Socio-Economic Resilience Strategies, Impact, and Lessons from Stakeholders.” The event had a great turnout by the market women of Kasoa Market, including their market queens and community opinion leaders who shared their experiences. Most traders recounted their experiences attempting to sell their wares in the marketplaces during the 2020 lockdown; the majority were subjected to harsh treatment by government security agents, particularly soldiers.