fbpx

Working Paper

WIDER Working Paper;2020/76

Africa’s Lockdown Dilemma: High Poverty and Low Trust

Published on 1 January 2020

The primary policy response to suppress the spread of COVID-19 in high-income countries has been to lock down large sections of the population. However, there is growing unease that blindly replicating these policies might inflict irreparable damage to poor households and foment social unrest in developing countries.

We investigate this concern using Afrobarometer data from 2019 for 30 sub-Saharan African countries. We create a multidimensional index of lockdown readiness based on living conditions and explore its relationship with forms of trust and the potential for social unrest.

The index reveals that just 6.8 per cent of households overall and 12.2 per cent in urban areas meet all conditions for a lockdown. We further show that weak readiness is not offset by high levels of social trust, which can be vital for effective public health interventions. As such, strict lockdown policies may not only be difficult to enforce, but also heighten the risks of conflict.

Cite this publication

Egger, E.M.; Jones, S.; Justino, P.; Manhique, I. and Santos, R. (2020) Africa’s Lockdown Dilemma: High Poverty and Low Trust, WIDER Working Paper 2020/76, Helsinki: UNU-WIDER

Citation copied

Authors

Image of Patricia Justino

Patricia Justino

Professorial Fellow

Eva-Maria Egger

Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER

Sam Jones

Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER

Ricardo Santos

Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER

Ivan Manhique

Access this publication

Read full publication online in OpenDocs

Partners

In partnership with
UNU-WIDER
Supported by
ESRC

Publication details

published by
UNU-WIDER
doi
10.35188/UNU-WIDER/2020/833-7
isbn
978-92-9256-833-7
issn
1798-7237
language
en_US

Share

About this publication

Related content