Promoting SME competitiveness in Francophone Africa - COVID-19: Strengthening companies' resilience

Companies in French-speaking Africa have not been spared by the COVID-19 pandemic. One-third are on the verge of bankruptcy, according to a joint study conducted by ITC and the Permanent Conference of African and Francophone Consular Chambers.

Facing a fall in turnover, supply chain disruptions and cash flow difficulties, companies have been seeking financial aid. However, seven out of ten businesses report difficulties accessing information on government support. Yet the majority of firms have demonstrated remarkable resilience. In fact, smaller businesses seem to be more agile than their larger counterparts: one micro-sized business out of five has created new products or services in response to the pandemic, as compared with just one in ten large businesses that could say the same.