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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The WHO declared the novel Covid-19 virus a global pandemic shortly after it broke out. The deadly virus spread has affected human health and seriously halted many economic and industrial activities globally. However, there has been a blight as there has generally been an improvement in air quality since the deadly Covid-19 pandemic caused various governments to lockdown their cities to regulate the spread of the virus. Since the widespread of Covid-19, there have been several researches to measure the extent of impact Covid-19 city lockdown has had global air quality, but no critical review has been done in Africa as a continent to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the impact of lockdowns on air quality. This study is geared towards a critical review of the impact of lockdowns on air quality in Africa. A total of 117 studies were found after a thorough review, and 87 studies met the screening criteria for the review. The literature was examined from Scopus, Google Scholar, PubMed and Web of Science. The study unraveled that in Africa, most of the studies were carried out on West Africa (45.6%), followed by North Africa (26.6%), East Africa (12.6%), South Africa (10.6%), and Central Africa (4.6%). Most of the studies have assessed the air pollutants like PM2.5, NO2, SO2 and CO. The study shows a significant improvement in air quality in Africa during the Covid-19 city lockdown. The research concludes that economic and industrial activities have resumed as various governments resort to partial city lockdowns. The improved air quality has just become an almost lost battle. Various governments in Africa should lock for other effective means to help continue the fight against air pollution in Africa since Covid-19 lockdowns seem to be short-lived. This varied study on the impact of Covid-19 city lockdowns on air quality will certainly aid policymakers in Africa in finding any gaps, as it defines the perceptions of the existing systematic research.

Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic, urban city lockdown, air pollution, air quality, Africa