COVID-19 Pulse Report - Tracking the impact of COVID-19 on consumers and businesses in Africa

KASI Insight
on 14/04/2020

Our monthly COVID-19 pulse report will uncover how the coronavirus disease is impacting consumers in Africa, What changes they are making to their lives, and How it will impact brands and businesses.

Why was the research conducted?

The COVID-19 virus outbreak poses a major threat to the global economy and public health systems worldwide, and as such, the World Health Organization has recently declared it a global pandemic. Its impact was seen through the turbulent stock market where over $6Tn was reportedly lost from global stock markets since the start of the outbreak. Multiple industries across the globe from travel, hospitality, supply chain, entertainment, and consumer goods are seeing a material slowdown in activities.

Despite the relatively low incidence of confirmed cases in Africa, (633 cases compared to 220,000 cases globally as of 19 March 2020), Consumer confidence is down amid coronavirus concerns.

The world will never be the same again, businesses around the globe are grappling with operating in a new reality of shutdowns and social distancing, and businesses in Africa are not exempt. During this time of turmoil, the lack of reliable data and insights can make or break companies as decisions will need to be made quickly and frequently.

How was the research conducted?

Despite the relatively low prevalence of cases in Africa to date, (633), we have launched this monthly COVID-19 survey, with over 3,000 interviews conducted across the seven key African countries, namely, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon.

In light of this, KASI Insights has launched its COVID-19 survey, to track African consumer attitudes and behaviors as the coronavirus outbreak evolves. We will regularly conduct over 3,200 interviews across seven key African countries, namely, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon.

Findings from the survey will be published in a free monthly report, the KASI COVID-19 Pulse Report which will track how the coronavirus disease is impacting consumers in Africa, What changes they are making to their lives, and How it will impact brands and businesses. These findings will provide pointers for businesses to assist them to navigate shifts in consumer behavior and to develop effective strategies.

What are the key findings of the research?

1. Consumer confidence in Africa in free fall on COVID-19 Concerns
In line with the global indices, consumer confidence in Africa is now falling fast (27% drop month over month), the larger size of the informal economy, weak health infrastructure in Africa means the COVID-19 impact can catastrophic

2. Africans have serious concerns about COVID-19
70% of respondents are very concerned with the COVID-19 pandemic but the level of fear is not the same in all Africa. Respondents from the English-speaking nations have maintained similar levels of concern month-on-month. Significant increase in COVID-19 fear amongst Francophone countries as the number of cases rose over the past month, however, they appear to be less affected than their counterparts

3. Sources of information about COVID-19
As the reality of COVID-19 hits Africans, they are relying more on traditional media and word-of-mouth rather than digital media to keep informed about the coronavirus. TV & Radio considered to be the most reliable information channels. Though internet searches and social media are used extensively they have often been sources of misinformation

4. Impact of COVID-19 on their lives
Most of the English-speaking respondents reside in countries where stringent measures were taken to curb the spread of COVID-19, some have lockdowns that are enforced by the military. 67% of respondents in English speaking countries say their daily lives have changed because of COVID-19
Respondents in Francophone countries are less concerned, their lives have not been as impacted to the same extent as the respondents in English speaking countries

5. IN AFRICA, COVID-19 IS AN ECONOMIC CRISIS. THE HEALTH THREAT IS SECONDARY
The respondents are worried first about the economic impact of COVID-19 to their families before the health impact of COVID-19. The sentiment is shared across countries and regions.

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