Coronavirus (COVID-19) is on everyone’s mind. With the virus’ recent arrival in the West and Central African region, and the ideal thing to do the period is to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

With this novel virus on our continent, it is no doubt that this pandemic has affected our economy. In light of this; In this article, we shall be looking at a View of Covid 19 Impact on African Economy. According to a survey by Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to COVID-19 (PERC); 69% of survey respondents said getting enough food and water would be difficult if they had to stay home for 14 days. It was further stated in the report that 2/3 of people in 20 African countries fear going hungry if they had to quarantine for 2 weeks.

Coronavirus is severely testing Africa’s social, economic and political resilience. And forcing African states to invest in their health systems.

According to the United Nations report for Africa; COVID-19 effect on employment is likely to be severe in urban areas. With urban-based sectors of the economy that is; manufacturing and services – which currently account for 64% of GDP in Africa are expected to be hit hard by COVID-19 related effects, leading to substantial losses in productive jobs.

In particular, approximately 250 million Africans in informal urban employment will be at risk. According to the World Economic Forum; Firms and businesses in African cities are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 related effects, especially SMEs which account for 80% of employment in Africa.

These risks are compounded by a likely hike in the cost of living. However, unemployment is already a major concern in African countries since the public and the private sector does not produce adequate jobs to cover the majority population especially new graduates.

 

Image showing Africa Corona Virus new blow to economic growth, expected to drop from 3.2% to 1.8%. (Source: UNECA)

According to the above report by UNECA, the ceasing of agricultural activities owing to COVID-19 pandemic means losses of 60% jobs of those involved in the sector in the Sub Saharan Africa region. These repercussions in key economic sectors in Africa will have severe damage to the prosperity of its people and hinder the efforts to achieve the continental development blueprint, Agenda 2063 as well as the global development blueprint, Agenda 2030 respectively.

The COVID-19 pandemic is only just beginning to take hold in Sub-Saharan Africa, and it is already having a huge impact. The World Bank’s recent Africa’s Pulse report found that COVID-19 is likely to drive Sub-Saharan Africa into its first recession in 25 years, with growth potentially falling as low as negative 5.1% in 2020. The crisis is likely to push millions of households into poverty. Food security is at risk because of trade disruptions, lower agricultural production and fewer food imports.

The African Development Bank estimates that Africa will lose between $35 and $100 billion due to the fall in raw material prices caused by the pandemic. The World Economic Forum estimates that global losses for the continent will be in the order of $275 billion. There is a real risk therefore that Africa’s inequality gap will worsen in the coming years.

In conclusion; In a post-COVID-19 world, the continent’s leaders will have to rethink many prior assumptions and find new balances for individual and collective behaviour.
Let me leave you with this to ponder on… What will the brave new world (Post-COVID-19) look like in Africa?