The World Bank said the region’s economy will shrink by as much as 5.1%.
The Bretton Wood institution predicted that economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa will fall from 2.4% in 2019 to -2.1 to -5.1% in 2020.
It pointed explained that the coronavirus pandemic is badly affecting the region’s three largest economies — Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola,
“In particular, countries that depend on oil and mining exports, including Ghana, would be hit the hardest. The negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on household welfare would be equally dramatic.”
The World Bank suggested that to prevent this recession, African policymakers must develop a two-pronged strategy of “saving lives and protecting livelihoods.”
The strategy must include short-term relief measures and medium-term recovery measures to strengthen health systems, provide income support to workers and liquidity support to viable businesses.
The World Bank, however, said that the countries will face challenges in financing these policies.
It, therefore, concluded that African countries will need financial help from their development partners, including COVID-19-related multilateral assistance and a debt service standstill with official bilateral creditors.
Most African countries are implementing lockdowns and curfews to curb the spread of the disease.
These will affect economic growth on the continent, which has had some of the world's fastest-growing economies in recent years