WASHINGTON, DC, 5 April 2021 – African economies will rebound in 2021 with Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, and Guinea growing above six percentage points, The World Bank Group has predicted.
Cote d’Ivoire is projected to grow 6.2 percent; a tiny bit slower than Guinea at 6.5 percent and Niger, expected to post a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6.9 percent.
Resource-dependent countries like Angola and Nigeria, and countries that already posted low growth prior to the outbreak of the new coronavirus pandemic, such as South Africa, are expected to continue on the sluggish growth path.
The three countries – Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Niger – are, unlike Angola and Nigeria, less dependent on raw materials and relatively unaffected by the new wave of COVID-19.
The pandemic brought about the first collapse in growth in the region in 25 years falling by two percentage points in 2020, according to the 2021 Africa Pulse report on the state of the sub-Saharan African economy released by the World Bank on the occasion of the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings which opened Monday.
Rwanda experienced its first recession in ten years on account of the pandemic and South Africa plunged by a negative seven percentage points.
Africa Pulse was released the same day the United Nations World Trade Organization said tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa fell by 78 percent from December 2019 to December 2020 on account of COVID-19.
The economies of Cape Verde, Mauritius, Seychelles, Senegal are among those that are worst-hit. A crisis induced by the new coronavirus pandemic.
There are fears that recovery may be delayed as infections from new variants of the virus are said to be up by 40 percent across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Smaller economies that are not as dependent on raw materials like Benin and Togo are also expected to see their GDP growth exceed four percent in 2021.
Recovery would be the product of sustained endurance and discipline in fighting the pandemic, reinvesting in Africa’s peoples, attracting foreign investors, and securing debt burden relief.
It will also be important that Africans are vaccinated as soon as possible before more variants develop and continue to ravage the world’s poorest region.
Rich countries are hoarding COVID-19 vaccines, with ten of the world’s richest countries having reserved 70 percent of all the vaccines manufactured worldwide to this date, with none of them an African country.
“If the dangerous trend of vaccine nationalism and hoarding in wealthier countries continues, it could delay a global recovery,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday on Twitter.
“We must ensure that vaccines are available and affordable to all as soon as possible,” the UN scribe added in a tweet.