SPECIAL ISSUE: African Resilience in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Charting New Territory for Economic and Business DevelopmentBack
African Journal of Business &Economic Research
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SPECIAL ISSUE: African Resilience in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Charting New Territory for Economic and Business Development
Special Issue Guest Editors:
Professor Fayth Ruffin
University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus)
School of Management, IT and Governance. Pietermaritzburg. South Africa.
Professor Anayo D. Nkamnebe
Department of Marketing, Faculty of Management Sciences
Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Awka. Nigeria.
Professor Phocenah Nyatanga
University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg Campus).
School of Accounting, Economics and Finance. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
It has been more than a year since the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the world. The impact on global, regional, national and sub-national economies is daunting (OECD, 2020). COVID-19 has taken a toll on human beings since its onset in early 2020. Globally, as of mid-March 2021, 3.4% of coronavirus cases were found in Africa, 16% in South America and 22% in Asia. Europe and North America were the hardest hit as of March 2021, with North America having 29% of the world's number of coronavirus cases and with Europe at 30%. Three months later – at this writing, in June 2021, around 3% of the world's cases are still in Africa, cases in South America have increased to 18%, and cases in Asia have increased to 30% of coronavirus cases in the world (Worldometers, 2021).
In contrast, coronavirus cases in Europe decreased from 30% to 26% and in North America from 29% to 22%. In other words, the number of COVID-19 cases seems to be increasing in Global South countries – although the numbers in Africa seem to remain constant; and decreasing in the Global North. Between March and June 2021, the global recoveries from coronavirus see Africa reducing from 3.7% to 2.8% and North America from 27% to 21%. Worldwide recoveries during this same period increased in Asia from 25% to 32% and in Europe from 21% to 27%. Recoveries in South America stayed at about 18%, from a worldwide perspective of COVID-19 recoveries. Regarding coronavirus-induced deaths, Africa comes in with the lowest percentage (3.5%) – just as it does with the number of cases and number of recoveries. This scenario is interesting because Africa is the second most populous continent globally, second to Asia. Though a hundred thousand people have died, initial predictions were far worse, giving rise to many theories on 'the African paradox (Guardian, 2021).'Of all African countries, South Africa has had the highest number of cases since the first African cases were reported in Egypt over a year ago, with more than 1.8 million as of June 2021. More than 1.6 million recoveries and more than 59,000 fatalities in South Africa (Worldometers, 2021).
Where does the African continent stand regarding economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19? The devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the world economy. Interrupted or eliminated supply chain logistics have caused businesses to close (Linton & Vakil, 2020). Unemployment has sky-rocketed across the globe. Commerce is grappling with new ways to sustain itself through digital technologies. The experience of already weak rural economies is yet to be told. Small, medium and micro-enterprises are at significant risks. Markets such as tourism have tended to take a nosedive. Financial sustainability across all sectors are suffering from 'lockdowns' that come and go in different countries. Whilst many aspects of pre-COVID-19 economic and financial approaches are on the downturn – other ways of doing business are taking the forefront. Working from home is no longer questionable (Bloom, Liang, Roberts, Ying 2013). Instead, it has become a new norm for many organisations. Businesses are asserting a digital presence augmented by online shopping at an unprecedented rate (Donthu & Gustafsson, 2020).
The African Journal of Business and Economic Research (AJBER) encourages scholars and researchers to view COVID-19 as an imposed teacher and guide, signifying a new world order. Consider it the manifestation of resilience in Africa. The AJBER is a double-blind refereed, high-quality international journal that provides a forum for the publication of articles from academics, business practitioners, and policymakers. The journal aims to advance both theoretical and empirical research, inform policies and practices, and improve understanding of how economic and business decisions shape the lives of Africans. In our Special Issue about the COVID-19 pandemic, we challenge scholars and research to focus on resilience – not the problems and issues that have emanated from the coronavirus pandemic.
The significant point is that authors' scholarly contribution must chart new territories undergirded by the role of resilience in facing the coronavirus pandemic era in the African continent. Submissions related to the following questions are particularly welcome:
1.What lessons have we learnt from the COVID-19 experience about economics, finance, entrepreneurship, international trade, marketing, management, human capital development and supply chain management, teaching and learning – to name a few aspects – on the African continent?
2.How has resilience been demonstrated among commercial organisations, public enterprises, and higher education institutions across the continent?
3.How have public-private partnerships emanated in this coronavirus pandemic era to improve the everyday lives of Africans?
4.What types of indigenous ways of knowing have enhanced the marketplace in Africa?
5.How have digital platforms and virtual events opened greater access to the upward mobility of business models?
6.What are the promises and pitfalls when it comes to digital marketing and other shifts to online interfaces?
7.What are the implications of Covid-19 cyber-security?
8.How are resilience modes being applied to enhance financial, economic, and social impacts?
9.Despite the COVID-19, which of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are being accomplished in Africa?
10.How is the African Union Agenda 2063 gaining ground, and to what extent are regional economic communities carrying out their respective mandates?
11.What new knowledge is emerging toward creating 21st century realities that are innovative, thereby progressively transforming business and economics in Africa?
All articles submitted to this Special Issue will be subject to the following review processes:
1.Desk review by the Guest Editors for suitability to this Special Issue.
2.If deemed suitable, two reviewers will be selected for a rigorous double-blind review process.
3.Based on the recommendation of the reviewers, the Guest Editors and the Editor-in-Chief will decide whether the article should be accepted as it is, revised and re-submitted, or rejected.
Manuscript requirements and submission procedure:
•All papers accepted for publication in this journal are passed through the anti-plagiarism software iThelticate, the journal’s threshold is 20% excluding references and in-text citations.
•The journal charges publication fee of £285 per article
•Prospective authors are strongly encouraged to contact the Special Issue Editors regarding potential topics of interest or any questions/suggestions regarding the Special Issue (email to: Ruffin@ukzn.ac.za & email@example.com).
•All manuscript should not exceed 6000 words
•Attach a cover page with title of the manuscript, the author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s), including email address(es).
•Include only the title page on the first page of the manuscript in order to maintain anonymity.
•Include an abstract of not more than 150 words.
•Produce the manuscript—including abstract, quotations, tabular material, notes, and references - in a double-spaced format, allowing a one-inch margin on all sides.
•Type all tables, using a standard word processing programme and number them consecutively in the necessary pages.
•Keep notes at a minimum.
•Use three descending levels of headings consistently throughout the paper. They should be descriptive but brief. Numbers may be used to identify levels of headings.
•References to other publications should be complete and should contain full bibliographical details. For multiple citations in the same year use a, b, c immediately following the year of publication. References should be shown within the text by giving the author's last name followed by a comma and year of publication all in round brackets, e.g. (Kuada, 1994). The following examples illustrate the style of referencing used in the journal:
oBooks: Surname, initials and year of publication, title, publisher, place of publication, e.g. Kuada, J. (1994), Managerial Behaviour in Ghana and Kenya – A Cultural Perspective, Aalborg University Press, Aalborg. Please, note that the title of books must be in italics.
oChapter in edited book: surname, initials and year, "title", editor's surname, initials, title, publisher, place, pages, e.g. Whitley, R. (2001), “Developing Capitalism: The Comparative Analysis of Emerging Business Systems” in Jacobsen, G. and Torp, J.E. (Eds.) Understanding Business Systems in Developing Countries, Sage New Delhi. pp: 25-41. Please, note that the title of the book must be in italics.
oArticles: Surname, initials, year "title", journal, volume, number, pages, e.g. Kuada, J. (2002), “Collaboration between developed and developing country-based firms: Danish-Ghanaian experience” Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing Vol. 17 No. 6 pp: 538-557. Please, note that the title of the journal must be in italics. If there is more than one author to a paper, please list all authors with their surnames followed by initials.
•Authors should also insert all Tables and Figures within the next text to where they are cited.
Full paper submissions: 30 August 2021
Revisions and decisions: 15 November 2021
Publication: December 2021
Bloom N, Liang J, Roberts J, & Ying ZJ (2013) Does working from home work? Evidence from a Chinese experiment. NBER Working Paper No. w18871. http://ssrn.com/abstract=2230761 Accessed 2 April 2021
Donthu, N. & Gustafsson, A. (2020) Eﬀects of COVID-19 on business and research. Journal of Business Research 117, 284–289. Accessed 4 April 2021.
Guardian (2021) What can we learn from Africa’s experience of Covid? The Guardian Newspaper, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/28/what-can-we-learn-from-africa-experience-of-covid-death-toll-paradox
Linton T, & Vakil B (2020) Coronavirus is proving we need more resilient supply chains. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2020/03/coronavirus-is-proving-that-we-need-more-resilient-supply-chains. Accessed 5 April 2021
OECD (2020) Coronavirus: the world economy at risk. OECD Interim Economic Assessment. https://www.oecd.org/berlin/publikationen/Interim-Economic-Assessment-2-March-2020.pdf. Accessed 2 April 2021
Worldometers Corona Virus Information. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries. Accessed March and June 2021.