Corona Virus is a New Economic Blow to Africa, says UN

Africa’s economic growth for 2020 is expected to drop from 3.2% to 1.8% in response to corona virus, a latest United Nations (UN) Commission on Africa report predicts. Out of the 117 global nations affected by Corona Virus (COVID-19) as at 13 March 2020, only 50 are from Africa.

COVID-19, which was first discovered in China, has brought havoc to global trade, with global powerhouses, including the United States, China and England feeling the impact of COVID-19 as major stock markets tumbled. Billions of dollars have been lost by airlines, travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, and sports clubs as the incurable virus continues to affect greater parts of the world. Even the most popular global football showcase –the English Premier League had to be unceremoniously stopped after an Arsenal football club coach and some league players tested positive for the virus.

The impact of COVID-19 on the global economy has been through health risks and demand side shocks, particularly for the tourism and transport industries, the UN report confirms.

In Africa, where only 15 countries are net exporters of food, the economic consequences of COVID-19 could be dire and long term, according to UN experts.

For Africa’s oil exporters, revenue losses of up to USD 65 billion would be incurred.

A disruption of global supply chains has also led to a drop in value creation, in the process reducing product supplies. Consequently, Africa will face inflationary pressures on food and pharmaceutical products, exacerbated by unanticipated increases in their health spending of up to USD 10.6 billion.

These revenue losses could lead to unsustainable debt at a time global investments into Africa have also slowed down significantly, leading to massive job losses.

Download the full United Nations Commission on Africa report here.

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