The lockdown in Africa is getting realer as its coronavirus cases have climbed over 1,000. The pandemic, spreading fast, has just found its way into the government of Burkina Faso, where 4 ministers have tested positive.
While the outbreak wreaks havoc and efforts to curb are intensified, the United Nations has been able to calculate how much African countries have last so far since the continent’s first confirmed case.
According to a report published to by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), COVID-19 has peeled off USD 29 Bn from African economies. This number is equal to the size of Uganda’s current Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
That is also more than the GDPs of Equatorial Guinea, Somalia and Angola put together. The report predicts that the pandemic will shave off 1.4 percent of the USD 2.1 Tn cumulative GDP of Africa due to an encompassing destruction of businesses on the continent and across the globe.
ECA’s projections are that the continent’s annual economic growth is likely to drop from 3.2 percent in February to 1.8 percent in March. It warns that it could get worse in the coming months as more countries report coronavirus infections within their borders.
ECA Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, said in a press conference that the continent’s interconnectedness to affected economies of the European Union, China and the United States is causing ripple effects.
Africa may lose half of its gross domestic product with growth falling due to a number of reasons which include the disruption of global supply chains,” Songwe added.
At the same press conference, Stephen Karingi, Director of the ECA’s Regional Integration and Trade Division, said there, however, was an opportunity the continent could take advantage of as trading within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is set to commence this July.
So far, COVID-19 cases have been reported in 36 of 54 African countries, while globally over 200,000 people have been infected with the virus, resulting in over 9,000 deaths.