“Let's stop criticizing our banks!”

More than ten years after the subprime mortgage crisis, all the light has not been shed, and yet the idea of ​​the guilt of the banks has taken hold firmly in people's minds. They are even blamed for the double fault, since after playing with fire and triggering the crisis, they allegedly asked for help from the States. This unanimous condemnation, the result of incomplete analyzes, is a heavy component of the bank bashing that has raged since then and unfortunately works against our interests. We are indeed at a critical moment when Europe, faced with the domination of American finance and the dollar, must develop its own financial capacities. The development of a strong pan-European financial sector is therefore essential if we particularly want to foster the emergence of future European gafas. 
If it is vain to hope for the complete disappearance of this bank bashing and, one might say, of the bashing market whose roots plunge both in history and in ignor…

African businesses turn to new technology in response to COVID-19 pandemic

 Addis Ababa, August 24, 2020 (ECA) - The Economic Commission for Africa, together with International Economics Consulting Ltd, has released the report of the second global investigation into the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects in Africa. The online survey was conducted from June 16 to July 20 to provide insight into the effects of the pandemic on the economic activity of businesses across Africa, identifying the challenges they face as well as their actions to address them. remedy.

African businesses turn to new technology in response to COVID-19 pandemic

The results of the survey show that the three main challenges companies face are: a) reduced opportunities to meet new customers; b) a drop in demand, and c) a lack of cash. Businesses have experienced serious disruption in both supply and market due to COVID-19, with high or unfair prices seen as a major concern. Business reactions to government aid are mixed with almost two-thirds of respondents indicating moderate to no satisfaction. As a result, 50% of respondents approached financial institutions, 25% of which obtained positive responses; of these, 42% were not satisfied with the service due to high interest rates, delays and / or warranty requirements.

When it comes to performance, companies are currently running at around 50% of their capacity. Business revenues are expected to fall by around 18% in 2020 (compared to 2019) and layoffs to increase by 20% over the next three months. However, the situation could have been worse if a significant portion of employees (27%) had not been able to work remotely. It should be noted that remote working options have proven to be more difficult for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), especially those in merchandise trade, whose performance has been relatively more negatively affected than large companies and more generally those involved in services. In addition, women are more likely to be made redundant than men, which is consistent with the fact that, in the companies surveyed, women tend to be more employed in MSMEs where their main activity is related to goods. 

One of the main positive lessons from this survey is the fact that two-thirds of the companies surveyed said they had identified new opportunities to respond to the crisis. Mr. Simon Mevel, Economic Affairs Officer, Regional Integration and Trade Division of ECA said: “It is very interesting to note that companies involved in goods and MSMEs have the highest shares in terms of new opportunities identified as a result of the crisis, which should be positive from a gender perspective, as women are mainly engaged in merchandise trade MSMEs ”.

These opportunities demonstrate a clear shift towards new technologies, including the development of online platforms for e-commerce. While the current share of e-commerce revenue remains relatively low (16%) - mostly due to challenges related to internet connectivity, payment gateways, and logistics / transport / deliveries - almost half (47%) of companies are moving or planning to move towards innovative / digital solutions through collaborations and partnerships.