In December 2019, a rare and new strain of Coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China. Fast forward to March 2020 with over 800,000 affected and over 40,000 dead worldwide, the World Health Organisation declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic. The Coronavirus pandemic has slowed the country’s commerce to a crawl, regardless of the extraordinary actions some institutions are taking to propel through the crisis. COVID-19 has impacted businesses in Sierra Leone as there is uncertainty in sales, supply chains and the impact on the economy. Currently, business owners are being forced to take drastic steps to continue operating and many are fearful about their businesses futures. Business owners must be allowed to have a dialogue about the challenges they are currently facing in ensuring business continuity during the current crisis.
“Businesses should fully utilise internal and external resources, including support and advice from business organisations and the government.”
In this light, Freetown Business School invited key leaders from the private and public sectors to discuss the impact of the pandemic on our economy. The event was themed “Conversation with Key Leaders on Leading and Managing through a Crisis”. The Ebola epidemic left our economy tanked by approximately 20% and we anticipate that the coronavirus will have far-reaching implications. As a result of this, we must guide our business owners on how to ensure that their businesses survive this crisis.