Ariel Herbert Fambeu

Enseignant-chercheur, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Statistique et d’Economie Appliquée (ENSEA) d’Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Sujet de recherche

Are innovation and e-commerce effective firm recovery strategies during the Covid-19 pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa?

Abstract: This study examines the effectiveness of innovation and e-commerce as firm strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Specifically, it assesses whether these strategic responses allow them to quickly recover their normal activity after the negative shock of COVID-19. This paper uses the World Bank’s COVID-19 Follow up Enterprise Survey along with the Enterprise Survey conducted before COVID-19. The use of an ordered probit model show that innovation and e-commerce have opposite effects on firm recovery. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the innovation strategy is much more effective than e-commerce in helping firms regain their pre-crisis performance level. The effects of these firm strategies on their recovery are virtually the same regardless of the level of development of the countries (SSA, other developing countries and developed countries), but with different magnitudes. However, these global results in SSA hide disparities according to firm size. Indeed, we observe that the recovery of sales is accelerated by innovations regardless of the firm size, whereas the recovery of jobs is favored by dynamic innovations only in large firms. Furthermore, e-commerce has no effect on the recovery of sales and jobs for small firms. Static resiliency policies have no effect on recovery. This study is essential for sub-Saharan Africa economies to bounce back from the pandemic, and build the foundations for future resilience.

Key words: Innovation, e-commerce, recovery, sub-Saharan Africa


Ariel Herbert Fambeu
University of Douala, Cameroon;



Loesse Jacques ESSO
Loesse Jacques ESSOProfesseur Agrégé en Economie à l'ENSEA
Assemien Alexandre
Assemien AlexandreMaître de conférences agrégé en Economie à l'INPHB