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Building a Recession-resilient Portfolio in Africa

Last week, The World Bank said that Africa is headed towards its first recession in 25 years. These gloomy figures can largely be attributed to disrupted value chains, reduction in FDI and remittances, and direct hits to sectors such as tourism and oil. While no industry can truly be recession-proof, tech-enabled sectors may be more likely to withstand these shocks. Botho Emerging Markets Group identifies three sectors that are likely to survive and even grow in the face of the coronavirus-sparked economic crisis. Fintech and mobile payments are likely to become more popular, spurred by stay-at-home orders and debates over the risk of infection due to the handling of cash. Several education innovators have developed new, promising solutions to enable students to continue learning while at home. Tanzania’s Ubongo recently launched its Ubongo Toolkits platform, a large library of quality, African-made early learning materials and educational resources for pre-teens. And finally, Africa’s fragile health systems can only cope with a small number of infected patients due to the number of limited hospitals and the lack of enough medical personnel. Technology can help the region bridge these healthcare gaps by providing software for self-assessment and symptom checking freeing doctors to attend to severe and urgent cases.