The African Development Bank (AfDB) has predicted that African economies are expected to grow by an average of 3.4% in 2021, on the back of recovery of the continent from its worst contraction in half a century.
In 2020, the 54-economies of the African continent shrank by 2.1% as the coronavirus crisis disrupted economic activity across the continent, according to AfDB’s 2021 economic outlook report.
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“The continent-wide projected recovery… does not remove the threat of increasing poverty,” the Abidjan-based AfDB said in the report, published on Friday.
African Economic Outlook 2021: Africa’s growth prospects bullish despite COVID-19 constraints and debt burden
- The economic impact of the pandemic varies across economic characteristics and regions, but the projected recovery is broad-based
- “Populations with lower levels of education, few assets, and working in informal jobs are the most affected and must be protected.”
- The average debt-to-GDP ratio for Africa is expected to climb by 10 to 15 percentage points in the short to medium term
- he time for one last debt relief for Africa is now – President Akinwumi A. Adesina
The worsening outcomes will be driven by the surge in government spending and the contraction of fiscal revenues caused by the pandemic.
The AfDB called on the international community to work with policymakers on the continent to help it deal with debt loads that are getting heavier and heavier.
“Africa’s debt burden must be prioritised and not ignored,” it said. “The time for one last debt relief drive for Africa is now.”
We believe that the time for the people in the seats of power across the continent to stop impoverishing their people.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur