Guinea Ebola, commodity price fall cost country $500M in lost revenue

"Growth was zero in 2015," Youla told a press conference. "We recorded a 2.9 trillion Guinean francs (around $350 million) shortfall in our revenue and $150 million shortfall in our foreign exchange earnings".

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Ebola, commodity price fall cost Guinea $500 mln in lost revenue play

Ebola, commodity price fall cost Guinea $500 mln in lost revenue

(The Africa Report)
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Guinea lost around $500 million in revenue in 2015 after an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus and the drop in global commodity prices slowed growth and hurt the mining sector in the West African country, Prime Minister Mamady Youla said on Thursday.

The country was one of three West African states at the centre of the outbreak, with more than 2,500 people in Guinea dying of the virus in 2014 and 2015.

"Growth was zero in 2015," Youla told a press conference. "We recorded a 2.9 trillion Guinean francs (around $350 million) shortfall in our revenue and $150 million shortfall in our foreign exchange earnings".

Mining is the main source of foreign exchange in Guinea, which holds nearly a third of the world's reserves of bauxite, the metal used to make aluminium.

"In February 2011, the price of iron was $187 per ton", Youla said. "In December 2015 it was $39 per ton. We have seen a collapse that hasn't encouraged the development of projects in this sector".

Hoping for a rebound, the country has set its economic growth target at nearly 4 percent for 2016, the prime minister said, and is seeking double-digit growth by 2020. It banks on the Simandou iron ore project, worth an estimated $21 billion.

Guinea was declared Ebola-free in December but at least five people have since died of the disease. The prime minister said on Thursday that the situation was "totally under control".

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