COVID-19: Trade-related news, analysis and resources


COVID-19: Trade-related news, analysis and resources

COVID-19: Trade-related news, analysis and resources

tralac is closely monitoring trade-related policy measures and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic adopted and implemented by African countries and beyond. Below is a selection of useful resources, analyses, news items and publications particularly relevant for trade and related developments on the African continent. This webpage is updated regularly to facilitate information-sharing and dissemination.

Page contents

16 March 2021

COVID-19 Trade and trade-related measures


African countries have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic through the adoption of various trade and trade-related measures in an effort to contain the economic impact of the crisis. To monitor the situation and encourage the sharing of information, tralac has prepared a list of these measures, which is updated regularly from official sources.

To date, tralac’s country policy tracker covers COVID-19 trade and related measures for 39 African countries. In addition, tralac has a regional policy monitor covering the regional economic communities (RECs) and the African Union.

COVID 19 Country Policy Tracker   COVID 19 Response Regional Policy Monitor

Recently-added resources

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Policy monitoring tools

For information and resources relevant to Africa on the pandemic:

Additional online tools monitoring policy responses to COVID-19:

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Global monitoring by the WTO

The WTO Secretariat is monitoring member countries’ notifications on COVID-19. The list is an informal situation report and an attempt to provide transparency with respect to trade and trade-related measures taken in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

Information Notes from the WTO Secretariat

Members’ proposals on COVID-19

In the news


F15 Ministers, Special Envoys for mobilization of international COVID-19 support - 26 Oct 2020

World Bank confirms economic downturn in sub-Saharan Africa, outlines key polices needed for recovery - 9 Oct 2020

G20 debt service suspension initiative applications rose to 46 countries to date - 29 Sep 2020

Click here for more news on COVID-19.

On the tralac Blog


Africa’s COVID-19 medical supplies trade: January-June 2020

Juliette Armelle Kouamo - 24 November 2020

South Africa’s PPE shortage – what can we learn?

David Christianson - 14 Oct 2020

National and regional perspectives and responses on the impact of COVID-19 on cross-border trade and Customs border management – what are we learning?

Rwatida Mafurutu - 12 Oct 2020

Effects of the COVID-19 Measures on Trade Facilitation in SADC

Innocent Muranganwa - 12 Oct 2020

COVID-19 Control Measures in SADC – Striking a balance between control and Trade Facilitation

Innocent Muranganwa - 12 Oct 2020

South Africa’s July 2020 trade data – exports recover while imports remain below 2019 levels

Willemien Viljoen - 05 Sep 2020

Click here to view all blogs.

tralac Publications


Completing and Implementing the AfCFTA in difficult times

Gerhard Erasmus and Trudi Hartzenberg - 29 Jul 2020

COVID-19: Trade and related measures and responses in Africa

Rwatida Mafurutu and Talkmore Chidede - 25 May 2020

IMF Emergency Funding in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

Gavin van der Nest - 14 May 2020

Governance in abnormal times – dealing with COVID-19: A regional perspective from South Africa

Gerhard Erasmus and Trudi Hartzenberg - 13 May 2020

COVID-19 and the legal Measures employed to deal with the Crisis

Gerhard Erasmus - 06 Apr 2020

Click here to view all publications.

COVID-19 in Africa: Trade-related resources


Additional resources


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tralac is monitoring trade-related policy responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). For all of us, both now and post-COVID-19, a fundamental recalibration of purpose, values, community and the nature of collective action is required. COVID-19 is a reminder that many 21st century challenges, including climate change, transcend national borders. While national responses are necessary, they are not sufficient. Hopefully COVID-19 will help us to reinvent multilateralism.

In the news

UN calls for $2.5 trillion coronavirus crisis package for developing countries - 31 Mar 2020

Communiqué of the Bureau of the Assembly of the AU Heads of State and Government Teleconference on COVID-19 - 30 Mar 2020

Three things the G20 must do to support Africa in COVID-19 Pandemic - 26 Mar 2020

Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit Statement on COVID-19 - 26 Mar 2020

Media Briefing on COVID-19 – Remarks by Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel - 26 Mar 2020

World Bank Group increases COVID-19 response to $14 billion to help sustain economies, protect jobs - 24 Mar 2020

On the tralac Blog

Willemien Viljoen

Trudi Hartzenberg

Talkmore Chidede




pdf COMESA Report: Why Africa Must Brace Itself for Devastating Secondary Effects of the COVID-19 (March 2020) (511 KB)

pdf Do’s and Don’ts of Trade Policy in the Response to COVID-19 (109 KB) : World Bank Trade and COVID-19 Guidance Note

pdf Trade in Critical Covid-19 Products (3.20 MB) : World Bank Trade and VODI-19 Guidance Note