General

#EMBA 27 – A difficult start to the 2020s decade

Babajide Bola Written by Bola Babajide · 1 min read >

The decade which began in 2020 has been far from rosy. The COVID-19 virus which was discovered in the last quarter of 2019 in Wuhan, China, spread like wildfire during the following quarter in 2020. This ompelled the World Health Organisation (WHO) to label the virus outbreak a global pandemic.  According to the WHO, the coronavirus has killed over 5.9 million people globally with over 430 million infections worldwide. The global pandemic did not just affect human beings but also businesses across the world. Across various sectors, the financial performance of small and medium scale enterprises plummeted while multinationals were not spared as well.  

The supply chain in most industries was obstructed with lockdown restrictions constituting a limitation to how businesses operate and function. As the virus and the fear of the virus spread worldwide, the adverse economic impact of the coronavirus began to crystallize with the global financial markets in a frenzy as investors attempted to exit riskier investments for less risky investments considered to be safe havens. In a frantic bid to stem the spreading of the virus, countries closed their respective air and land borders by restricting travel to essential trips such as transportation of medical equipment, medical supplies, and medical personnel to manage the COVID-19 virus. Citizens of the world were suddenly confined to their homes as their various government-imposed curfews only permitted trips to essential locations such as the hospital, supermarkets, and other food outlets. Later in that year and after long and dutiful research, the first set of vaccines was developed in the fight against the virus.

While the world was still celebrating the breakthrough that the vaccines offered, 2021 came with some new variants of the coronavirus including the delta and omicron variants of the coronavirus. The emergence of the variants further troubled the world and scientists had to engage in further research to enhance the existing COVID-19 vaccines to further protect the world from the deadly pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic resulted in a global economic recession as nations of the world faced unprecedented economic challenges. While still battling with the global pandemic and the financial and economic implications for national economies and local and international businesses, the Russian Invasion of Ukraine started barely two months into 2022. This new decade seems to have started with several challenges of global magnitude. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has attracted reactions from NATO countries and the United States of America in the form of heavy economic sanctions for some key Russian citizens and some Russian entities.

The economic impact of the ongoing war has just started to emerge with the American sanctions crashing the Russian Ruble to the lowest in history. With Russia being a global leader in oil and gas production, the price of brent crude has risen significantly just a few hours following the US sanctions. This will have evident impact on the world’s economy in major ways, and this is because the prices of oil and gas will rise, leading to a substantial increase in the prices of consumer goods in most markets. The overall economic impact of the ongoing war on the economy of nations cannot be underestimated as it would affect Europe, America, and the rest of the world. It has indeed been a different decade and one can only hope it gets better soon.     

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