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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis that threatens to throw the region off its stride, reversing the encouraging development progress of recent years. Furthermore, by exacting a heavy human toll, upending livelihoods, and damaging business and government balance sheets, the crisis threatens to retard the region’s growth prospects in the years to come. Previous crises tended to impact affect countries in the region differentially, but no country will be spared this time.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

more employment in services is two and half times larger for women than men. Firm-level Performance 16 Observing the behavior of firms also provides insights into the potential payoffs of connectivity. The World Bank’s Enterprise Surveys (WBES) provide data on the use of email for firms operating in the formal manufacturing and service sectors. This serves as a proxy for firms’ digital connectivity, as email use forms an important—if not dominant—feature of most firms’ digital connectivity. The majority of firms in sub-Saharan Africa use email to