Webinar: The economic impact of COVID-19 on SADC

  • Date: Wednesday, 19 May 2021
  • Venue: Online
  • Main Speakers: Neva Makgetla (TIPS), Klaus Schade (Economic analyst), Gibson Chigumira (ZEPARU), Itumeleng Mokoena (TIPS)
  • For enquiries or to register please contact: natasha@tips.org.za


Neva Makgetla  - Senior Economist, TIPS

Presentation: The pandemic and the economy in southern Africa

Klaus Schade - Independent Economic Analyst in Namibia

Presentation: The economic impact of Covid-19 on  SADC: The Namibian experience

Gibson Chigumira - Executive Director, Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit (ZEPARU)

Presentation: Synopsis of COVID-19 situation and policy responses in Zimbabwe

Itumeleng Mokoena - Intern, TIPS

Presentation: The COVID-19 pandemic and the economy in Southern Africa: Botswana's response

Additional Research

The COVID-19 pandemic and the economy in Southern Africa


Tourism bears brung of Covid-19 pandemic across SADC - researchers (Lameez Omarjee, Fin 24, 21 May 2021)

Southern African countries' Covid-19 economic recovery rapid – TIPS (Donna Slater, Engineering News, 19 May 2021)

Press release

COVID-19 leaves SADC poor worse off

This Development Dialogue takes place in the context of the SA-TIED programme. It provides an overview of the economic impact on SADC, and then unpack the specific issues impacting on Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

 14:00 Opening and welcome by chairperson: Themba Khumalo

14:05 – 15:05 Presentations:

·         Neva Makgetla: Overview of the economic impact on SADC

·         Klaus Schade: Namibian experience

·         Gibson Chigumira: Zimbabwean experience

·         Itumeleng  Mokoena: Botswanan experience

15:05 – 15:30 Discussion


As in the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic had a severe economic fall-out in Southern Africa, which endured an economic depression in 2020. The economic outcomes varied significantly over the course of the year, however. A sharp downturn linked to regional and international lockdowns in the second quarter was followed by a rebound in the remainder of the year. For 2020 as a whole, the regional GDP was around 6% below 2019. The available evidence indicates that the pandemic depression aggravated inequalities in Southern Africa, which were already among the worst in the world. Less-skilled workers saw a disproportionate loss of livelihoods; small businesses were also more likely to close down than larger ones; and government cuts to services in response to falling revenues had the sharpest impact on low-income households and communities.

About the Speakers

Themba Khumalo is the Director of Africa Integration and Industrial Development at South Africa’s Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

Neva Makgetla is a senior economist at TIPS. Makgetla has published widely on the South African economy and worked for many years in government.

Klaus Schade is an independent economic analyst in Namibia.

Gibson Chigumira is the Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis & Research Unit (ZEPARU).

Itumeleng  Mokoena is an intern at TIPS.