A significant amount of global trade is conducted through an integrated system of global value chains. Trade through these value chains was already undergoing a process of reconfiguration when the global pandemic hit – affected by new south-south trading relationships, protectionist policies and technological changes. This research intends to explore how political economy, specifically domestic state-business relations (SBRs) in East Africa, are influencing policy responses to Covid-19, how this response is further reshaping value chains, and the implications of these dynamics for inclusive and sustainable development.
The project will identify two sectors where businesses have experienced contrasting fortunes as a result of the pandemic. It will analyse how policy responses to Covid-19 influenced the interests and capabilities of firms to engage with global and/or regional value chains and the role played by state-business interactions in these dynamics.