Sub-Saharan Africa Faces Difficult Road to Recovery, Says IMF

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With difficult recovery ahead, policy makers have fewer resources at their disposal as they cautiously lift restrictions and reopen economies. Transformative reforms are urgently needed for rekindling resilient growth, which will be difficult without external support, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is contending with an unprecedented health and economic crisis,” stressed Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director of the IMF’s African Department. “In just a few months, this crisis has jeopardized years of hard-won region’s development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.

“The onset of the pandemic was delayed in sub-Saharan Africa, and infection rates have been relatively low compared to other parts of the world. However, the resurgence of new cases in many advanced economies and the specter of repeated outbreaks across the region suggest that the pandemic will likely remain a very real concern for some time to come.

“Nonetheless, amid high economic and social costs, African countries are now cautiously starting to reopen their economies and are looking for policies to restart growth. With the imposition of lockdowns, regional activity dropped sharply during the second quarter of 2020, but with a loosening of containment measures, higher commodity prices, and easing financial conditions, there have been some tentative signs of a recovery in the second half of the year. Read more…

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