Meeting Africa’s Liquidity Needs While Protecting Market Access

Photo: World Bank / Sambrian Mbaabu

Addis Ababa — Statement co-signed by the ministers of finance and / or ministers of development of the following countries: Angola, Cameroun, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone and Tunisia.

As the Coronavirus pandemic storm sweeps through the world, in Africa it is leaving many economies that have been performing very well for several years in a free fall.

The IMF predicts that global growth will contract by -3.0 percent with developed countries bearing the brunt of this contracting at double the global average at -6.1 percent. The global economy is in a depression and bold measures across the board are required to support a return to growth.

African economies are not only hit by the consequences of the pandemic, all productive sectors – including tourism which provides tax revenues and hard currency to many countries and employs millions – are suffering. The collapse of commodity prices and remittances have further worsened the situation for many countries with reserves rapidly depleting.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa predicts that growth in all of Africa in 2020 will contract by -1.8 percent and about an additional 28 million more people will fall into poverty while unemployment will rise by an additional forty percent.

The consequences on economies will be severe, livelihoods across the continent will be destroyed and social cohesion threatened if enough means and policies are not urgently put in place to plan and respond to these pressures in a coordinated manner.

The challenge for policy makers on the continent today is to minimize the immediate impact of depression and begin to sow the seeds for growth. This will require rapid domestic actions complemented by support from the international community. Read more…

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