An estimated 31 million Africans will face extreme poverty at the end of 2020 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This figure is the best-case scenario with 50 million being the worst.
The World Bank conducted the study in order to predict the adverse effects of the pandemic on the African continent.
The figures predicted are enough to result in the first-ever recession in Africa recorded over 25 years.
Africa’s (GDP) gross domestic product per capita growth is at 3-4 per cent lower. The drop means that the number of Africans living on less than 1.9 dollars is highly likely to increase by 2 per cent from 41.6 per cent to 43.9 per cent approximately.
A World Bank press statement partially read:
“The swift and aggressive efforts taken by many African governments to contain the disease, necessary as they are, have come at an enormous economic cost,”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, most African governments have tried to cushion their citizens with initiatives such as stimulus packages, tax reliefs for salaries and businesses, local food distribution programs and cash transfers to the most affected regions.
Some containment measures have also been put in place to curb the spread of the disease. Lockdowns, movement restrictions, curfews and work from home orders have been a norm in most African countries.
All these measures have seen an already struggling African economy further dip in revenue collections and accrue further debts.
Job losses have become the order of the day. The losses are attributed to staff cuts in most multinationals and government institutions. This has largely contributed to the difficult times Africans are currently facing.
In Nigeria, for example, 79 per cent reported lost income with 42 per cent having faced job losses. In Ethiopia, the script is the same as they say 45% of urban households have lost their source of income.
Before the pandemic, the Sub Saharan Africa region had the highest growth rates in the world at an estimated 6 per cent average. Africans can only hold on and wait for better times.