× Business BUSINESS MOTORING SHIPPING & LOGISTICS DR PESA FINANCIAL STANDARD Digital News Videos Health & Science Lifestyle Opinion Education Columnists Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Fact Check Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Sub-Saharan Africa to contract 3.3 per cent this year, World Bank says

By Reuters | October 12th 2020
By Reuters | October 12th 2020

The coronavirus crisis is expected to drive a 3.3 per cent contraction in sub-Saharan African economies in 2020 and could push 40 million people into extreme poverty, the World Bank said on Thursday.

A Congolese woman buys groceries at an open air market, amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo March 28, 2020. [Reuters]

The Washington-based lender said growth in the region would recover in 2021, with economies growing by 2.1 per cent, below 2019’s growth of 2.4 per cent.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a large toll on economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa, putting a decade of hard-won economic progress at risk,” the bank said.

Apart from South Africa, the region appears to have so far escaped the worst of the health crisis, accounting for 3.4 per cent of global infections and 2.5 per cent of deaths, but the World Bank warned of potential risks from the virus.

“Great uncertainty surrounds the scale and trajectory of the pandemic in the region,” it said, citing the experience of European nations and the United States, which are going through a second wave of infections.

The pandemic is expected to regress the economic output per person to 2007 levels by the end of next year, the bank said, and disrupt learning for 235 million students.

This year’s economic growth is expected to be hit by the lockdowns put in place by governments to curb the spread of the virus, and the impact of the global slowdown.

“Disruptions in the tourism industry and lockdowns will cause substantial slow-downs in Ethiopia, Kenya, and the island nations,” the World Bank said.

Economies which are not overly reliant on commodities, like Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal, will be spared from steep contractions, thanks to fairly robust outputs in their farming sectors, the bank said.

Governments in the region should take steps to boost their capacity to recover from the impact of the crisis, the World Bank said.

“Countries need to reconstitute their fiscal space to finance programs that can stimulate recovery, improve debt management, and fight corruption,” the lender said.

Share this story
NCBA, Tatu City enter into mortgage financing deal
NCBA has partnered with Tatu City to enable homeowners’ access mortgages at the 5,000-acre Special Economic Zone.
CS Najib Balala summoned over stalled project
There have been reports of cut-throat competition between agencies under the Ministry of Tourism.