Africa Loses Estimated $29 Billion to Coronavirus Economic Disruption

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Coronavirus is taking a toll on the global economy and the African continent is among them. As of March 20th, thirty-six of Africa’s 54 countries confirmed more than 700 coronavirus positive cases.  Globally over 200,000 people have been infected with the virus with at least 10,000 confirmed deaths. In the East African region Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda have all reported coronavirus cases, with Uganda reporting its first case today. Burundi and South Sudan were yet to report any cases.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in its latest statistics has reported that African countries have so far lost an estimated $29 billion to the coronavirus economic disruption, an amount equal to Uganda’s gross domestic product (GDP). Owing to the widespread disruption of business on the continent and across the world, the UN forecasted that the virus will eat up 1.4 per cent of the continent’s $2.1 trillion GDP.

According to the report, the continent’s annual economic growth could fall from 3.2 per cent in February to 1.8 per cent in March, with high chances of worsening as the deadly virus, continues to spread in Africa.c With the continent looking to inject a whopping  $10.6 billion more to curtail the spread of the virus, Africa might never come near to achieving its full potential.

“Africa may lose half of its gross domestic product with growth falling due to a number of reasons which include the disruption of global supply chains,” read the report in part.

Transport, tourism, manufacturers, supplies, healthcare among other core industries to the economy have bee adversely affected by the coronavirus. With China being Africa’s major trading partner, the Suppl chain has been negatively impacted and the effects likely to last longer. Kenya has recorded 15 cases of the virus, with Egypt, Algeria, South Africa and Morocco recording more than half of the novel coronavirus cases in the continent. So far, at least 19 people have died from Covid-19 in Africa, Cameroon reporting the highest number of deaths.

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