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Around 40 km outside Cape Town, Leebah Bessick wipes sweat from her forehead as she digs a pitchfork into the earth at a neighbourhood community garden. It’s an unseasonably hot day here at Blackheath Secondary School and even a shady corner of the garden offers Bessick and the other gardeners little respite from the midday sun. Still, she finds refuge here these days after enduring a year of hardship and unemployment caused by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit South Africans hard.
For Hortense Koné, the manager of a small restaurant in Abobo Belleville, north of Côte d'Ivoire’s economic capital Abidjan, paying her water and electricity bills became a headache last year when Covid-19 lockdown restrictions hit her business. But a decision by the Ivorian government to cover water and electricity bills for households in the lower income brackets has finally brought her some relief.
Easter Kumbana knew the novel coronavirus was a deadly and highly contagious disease, but he could not afford the basic items needed to protect himself and his family from it. “I had no money to buy face masks and hand sanitizers because the little money I had was needed to feed my children,” said Kumbana, a resident of Kanyama, an impoverished community on the outskirts of the Zambian capital Lusaka.
The 2021 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group will take place from 23 to 25 June, 2021 in a virtual format. This year’s theme, “Building Resilient Economies in Post Covid-19 Africa,” will provide a platform for the Bank’s governors to share their experience in addressing the pandemic and the policy measures they are employing to rebuild economies and livelihoods.