African SMEs’ Performance and Behaviors during COVID-19

● Since Africa is rich in solar power, this energy source must be the number one focus of African governments in upcoming energy projects. The Pay-as-you-go PAYG solar energy products are excellent energy tools for Micro-businesses. It can give them the needed energy while facilitating payment via installments. Meanwhile, PAYG technologies can help track SMEs behavior and payment capacity. It also can be used to monitor and track energy consumption, fnancial capacity using low cost investment. Furthermore, This can help fnancial institutions to create new credit lines and bank accounts for micro-businesses. ● Governments should use electricity price incentives (and/or subsidies) to encourage African SMEs, and this ought to become the norm with periods extending from 3 to 5 years depending on the productivity or the size of those companies. ● Non-state-owned power producers should also be encouraged to enter the market and become competitive to enlarge the power supply base and combat shortages in electricity. The role of the government should be to test, certifying and ensuring the quality of the ofered power. ● Power outages and insecurity negatively afect African SMEs. Policy makers can help to mitigate the impact of electricity insecurity on SMEs by ensuring that outages are planned and by facilitating access to alternative supplies of electricity, including generators and renewable energy. ● Policy makers should ofer low- rate loans to produce energy for SMEs either supplying solar, grid, of-grid or mini-grid electrifcation. The application process should be simple to allow expansion of power. ● Host a working group which meets regularly to review state support provided in the energy sector and how to help SMEs.

3- Networks, Internet connection and broadband

The Internet is a critical enabler of economic growth for both developed and developing countries. Small businesses, in particular, have used the Internet to deliver economic growth to their local communities, harnessing it to promote their products and services to national and international markets. For public policy this will entail: ● Policy should focus on continuing to grow the Internet. It is important to observe that top-down policy is vital to generate the enabling environment. New policies and frameworks should be in place to enable the new wave of the Internet of Things IOT and its applications in SMEs especially in agriculture, water and energy related businesses. ● Removal of undue tarif and non-tarif barriers to importing the equipment needed to operate the networks, to lower the cost and uncertainty involved in deploying infrastructure. ● Liberalization of the sector to promote competition among operators. The conditions of liberalization are important, with licenses that ofer fexibility, are reasonably priced, and have transparent conditions. Therefore, policy makers should facilitate market entry. Virtually all countries that have achieved high levels of broadband access have emphasized competitive, coherent, market-oriented policies as a foundation for ICT market growth and innovation. ● Afordable taxation where the Internet and its related devices are not treated as luxury goods. ● Play the guarantor of the quality of the Internet by enabling a consumer protection agency that tracks malfunctioning, contested billing and technical failures. Penalties and fnes on non-conforming operators should be strictly applied.


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