Following COVID-19 pandemic-related travel restrictions, it is predicted that up to millions of African jobs will be lost in the aviation and aviation-related industries, according to a report by Air Transport Action Group. The report revealed that 4.5 million jobs out of Africa’s 7.7 million aviation-related employment would be lost. Up to 172,000 jobs in the aviation sector alone have been lost by the end of 2020.
Subsequently, the aviation sector in Africa is estimated to fall by 58 percent, that is US$37 billion, compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Moreover, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Employment Outlook indicates that the effect of the containment measures is worse than the 2008 financial crisis. The result of the current crisis has led to “an exceptional drop in activity and unprecedented job losses. Up to 10 times fewer hours were worked in some countries, compared with the first few first months of the 2008 financial crisis.”
Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East told that: “the breakdown in air connectivity in Africa has severe social and economic consequences for millions. No income means the lack of a social safety net for many.”
This will be Africa’s first recession in 25 years. The regional economic review, Pulse: Charting the Road to Recovery shows that Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth is expected to fall to -3.3% in 2020. Additionally, the report reveals that the pandemic could leave up to 40 million people on the continent in extreme poverty, obliterating progress in the fight against poverty for at least five years.
Mr. Albakri has called on governments to employ all resources to reconnect the continent safely. He added, “Keeping borders closed, or imposing measures such as quarantines that deter air travel, will result in many more livelihoods being lost and further economic shrinkage along with hardship and poverty.”
Based against this backdrop, we have listed four jobs that we feel will be in demand in the next few months to several years. They include:
Fitness and health coach
For the past several months, people have been stuck at home with little to do. This, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) has spiked stress and mental health issues among the population.
“Just the fact of someone wondering if he is positive for COVID-19 is like having a stigma and something that is threatening his life…and that affects, of course, his behaviour. We know very well that panic leads to bad behaviour and to psychosomatic problems as well, and that brings on somatic problems very, very easily, and we have to be careful and delicate with how we handle this,” Dr. Konstantinos Petsanis told WHO in an interview.
One way to address physical and mental wellbeing is to remain active both physically and mentally. That is where you come in. If you are passionate about physical and mental health coaching, this is the best time to turn your business around.
What you can do
With so many people stuck at home, many of them need a way to vent out the energy and stress. Set your business right to reach online clients. While a website is a plus for any business, today, social media will help you to spread information about your services and products. Reach out to family and friends and request them to share, subscribe and recommend your business to their friends and family. In the beginning, it will be challenging, but which business is not?
In May 2020, we spoke to Winnie Ikatwa, founder and CEO of Epepea Online Supermarket. She told the Exchange that since the pandemic, her online business has picked up. With limited movement, Epepea Online Supermarket received increased requests for food and other items delivered at home.
Speaking to Deutsche Welle, Shamim Sserunjogi revealed that her fish business came to a standstill when her clients could not physically come to get tilapia and Nile perch. To reach her clients, Shamim decided to use Facebook. Soon enough, her business was serving both new and old customers. She even collaborated with her brother who owned a motorcycle to make deliveries.
In terms of e-commerce, COVID-19 has pushed businesses to achieve digitalization faster than planned. This is to meet the growing demand for online shopping and delivery services.
Companies dealing in courier, parcel, and express mail service have experienced a surge in business. Deutsche Post DHL Group is one such company, which confirms that there has been a 35 percent increase in e-commerce volume in 2020.
What you can do
While you could start your own delivery service business, if you already have a business, find a way to deliver your services or products to your customers. By so doing, you will keep your business moving.
One way to venture into the delivery services is working with large retail shops in town. Jumia is one company that is working with third party users to support its end–goal to deliver products to consumers effectively.
Web and social media manager
Many companies have been forced to a digital transformation, thanks to the pandemic. This was in response to the need for people to continue with their daily lives such as work, school, entertainment and access to food and food items. Companies that are continuing to adopt technology and rethinking ways to improve their business model will remain ahead of their competition. Some of the businesses that have seen growth in recent months include telehealth, remote learning, and virtual meetings.
Speaking to the Exchange, a fashion business owner, Gladys Kimani, noted that her business had dropped by 80 percent a week after the Kenyan government announced the stringent lockdown measures. She quickly had to find a way to continue selling. To Gladys, the WhatsApp platform was one way to keep her business afloat.
What you can do
What small and medium company owners need now is an expert to support them to transition into the digital world. A web and social media manager will not only help a business move but also reach and satisfy the needs of its consumers using the most suitable online platforms.
Communication and Public Relations
Businesses today are experiencing tough times. Rapid changes imposed by governments to contain the pandemic created negative ripple effects on businesses and their stakeholders. Thus arose the need for communicators to provide frequent and transparent information to all stakeholders both internally and externally.
Although no one has a definite answer to what is going on, communicators and public relations professionals must be empathetic and show human understanding when dealing with the situation at hand.
What you can do
With emerging platforms such as WhatsApp, YouTube live, video calling, video-conferencing, Skype among others, brands have to find the most suitable ways to communicate and listen to the needs of their consumers.
Moreover, with fake news circulating all over social media, it’s your job to demystify the information while managing the different areas of public relations including managing expectations, communicating, and planning for ‘re-entry’ into the market if need be.
These are just but a few jobs that we feel you could venture into with ease if you are passionate enough. Moreover, if you already have a business, employing some of the skills from these areas can boost your business profits.