COVID-19 Pandemic and Service Sector in Ethiopia

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Achalu Berecha
Jemal Abafita
Leta Sera


The outbreak of COVID-19 at the end of 2019, become a global emergency following the
declaration of World Health Organization (WHO) as pandemic on 11 March 2020. Beyond its
impact on human health, it has been causing a massive damage on global economy. Given the
nature of the sector, COVID-19 pandemic hit hard the service sector. This paper tried to assess
the effect of COVID-19 on service sector and its impact on Ethiopian economy. The assessment
was made based on summative assessment result of the key service sub-sectors: transportation,
tourism and hospitality, education and health sector, based on official reports and some
statistical figures from secondary data sources given after ‘partial lock-down’. The study found
that as a result of travel restrictions and closing of borders; travel industry, tourism and
hospitality and also other services that are directly and indirectly attached to them are affected
significantly in Ethiopia. In health sector, beyond its impact on human health, it has significant
impact on country’s economy by disrupting country’s resource through increasing unbudgeted
health spending, shifting from other planned development activities. The shutdown of schools,
colleges and universities result in interruption of teaching-learning process, force to learn at
home which affect quality of education, raise dropout rate and widen inequities in the learning
gap between the advantages and dis-advantages groups. In sum, currently in Ethiopia service
sector is one of the most affected by the corona virus pandemic. The study recommends that
cooperation of all stockholders is required to save the sector from the bad impact of COVID-19

Article Details

Author Biographies

Achalu Berecha, Jimma University

Lecturer, Department of Economics, Jimma University

Jemal Abafita, Jimma University

Associate professor, Department of Economics, Jimma University

Leta Sera, Jimma University

Assistant professor, Department of Economics, Jimma University