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More than 30 million Africans to become extremely poor in 2021 – AFDB

By Ugbede Usman

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African Development Bank has said that, about 39 million Africans may be pushed into extreme poverty this year as a result of coronavirus. This was revealed in the bank 2021 edition of African Economic Outlook that focuses on debt resolution, governance, and growth in Africa.

The report cautioned that, Africa’s predicted growth could be subject to major downside risks arising from both external and domestic factors.
The report read in part “Despite the challenging backdrop of a global pandemic and external economic shocks, Africa is expected to recover from it’s worst recession in half a century and reach 3.4 percent growth in 2021.

“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in December 2019 has taken a massive toll on Africa, hitting tourism-dependent economies, oil-exporting economies and other-resource intensive economies the hardest, as well as deepening inequality.

“The continent-wide projected recovery, following a 2.1 percent contraction in 2020, does not remove the threat of increasing poverty. An estimated 39 million Africans could possibly slip into extreme poverty this year, following about 30 million who were pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The report finds that populations with lower levels of educated, few assets, and working in informal jobs are the most affected and must be protected.”

The report added, “This has had a direct negative impact on budgetary balance and debt burdens, the average debt-to-GDP ratio for African is expected to clime by 10 to 15 percentage points in the short to medium term, fueled by the surge in government spending and contraction of fiscal revenues as a result of COVID-19.


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