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How Badly Will the Coronavirus Impact Africa’s Economies?

COVID-19, if not contained, can have long-lasting effects on all sectors of the African economy in addition to the loss of human life. There are 21,317 positive cases across54个非洲国家的52个, with a death toll of 1,080 as of April 19.

With Europe and the United States — both major sources of development finance and remittances to Africa — now at the epicenter of the virus, its economic impact is expected to be worse than imagined at the beginning. The latest United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA.)预测表明,Covid-19可以将非洲大陆的预期经济增长从3.2%降低至1.8%。

According to theWorld Travel & Tourism Council,旅行和旅游业为2018年的非洲经济贡献了1.942亿美元的非洲经济,占2018年的8.5%的GDP。一些领先的预测表明,我们现在可以希望的最佳情景是一个全球经济衰退,与2008年金融危机水平相比。

Decline in Remittances

During the 2008 financial crisis, Africa lost up to $7.2 billion from the tourism industry alone. Unlike the past financial crisis, the fear of the reemergence of the virus may continue to haunt the tourism sector even after the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to more losses from the sector.

Since 2000,remittance flowsto the continent have shown a steadfast growth, except a small decrease in 2009 due to the financial crisis. TheWorld Bankfinds that sub-Saharan Africa gained about $46 billion in 2018 from remittances. Given the global dimension of the crisis, Africa might see a stagnation or even a reduction in remittances.

The virus is indiscriminately impacting global supply and demand. The European Union and India have announced their decisions to limit the export of medical equipment and drugs as they struggle to meet domestic demand and face difficulty to source key ingredients to step up production.

Africa Lacks Drug-Making Capacity

Because of this decision, sub-Saharan Africa, where most countriesimportas much as 70-90% of their drug consumption, is expected to be the primary victim. Africa’s nascent manufacturing industry might also be hurt, given its weak backward linkages. For instance, the continent imported 10% of the value ofintermediategoods required for its manufacturing sector between 2010 and 2012.

With many parts of Europe and the U.S. in some sort of lockdown, global production and demand are in a downward spiral. Most international flights are now cancelled, and domestic movements are severely restricted in many countries, resulting in a dramatic drop in oil demand and price. The decline in oil price is expected to cost oil exporters on the continent more than$65 billion.


Other major export commodities such as gold, copper and cocoa are also expected to face some level of price drop. This will impact many businesses throughout the value chain and decimate many jobs along the way. Also, it will significantly reduce governments’ revenue from royalty, income and payroll taxes in a time when public finance is urgently needed to meet increased health expenditure and reduce the impact on businesses and jobs, thus worsening the already widening budget deficits.

那么,我们如何应对展开危机?与埃博拉不同,Covid-19既没有源于非洲,也没有其流行率限于非洲。一些受影响最严重影响的亚洲国家已经给予了我们希望逮捕病毒,反映在他们的病毒下降案件和高度恢复率,尽管存在威胁resurgence. These countries, and lately the West, have discovered best practices including technologies needed to deal with the virus. This means that Africa can now adopt these best practices and technologies with some customization, thus avoiding the need to learn the hard way — as it happened during the Ebola outbreak.

为了改变其经济,非洲需要经济增长超过经济增长,或者Health, economic and political shocks will continue to haunt Africa.


Anecdotalevidencealso indicates that anti-malaria drugs might have the potential to cure the virus. According to theWHO在2018年,在非洲,大约93%的疟疾病例中约有93%的疟疾,并且大量患者每年接受治疗。

This implies that malaria patients who are taking the treatment might not serve as vectors for the virus, thus slowing the spread of the disease. But more importantly, the existing situation may help to generate quasi-experimental data that could further help to verify the efficacy of antimalarial drugs and make a timely decision on the use of the same drugs for the virus.

African governments should take necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus, but should also be mindful of the ramifications of their actions on the economy. The choice between economy and health is a tough call everywhere, but more so in Africa.

Lockdowns Not Possible for the Poorest


政府s have limited fiscal spaces to support the poor, even in the best of times. In addition, in many cities, the infrastructure that supports a prolonged home stay, such as online purchases and home delivery, does not exist. So, what is the option?



Of course, those who can work at home should be asked to do so, though they are out of the highest-risk category. About60%of Africans are subsistence farmers and live dispersed in rural areas. Crucially, rural Africa could benefit from some form of lockdowns, particularly restricting movements to and from urban areas, which are entry points to the virus.

非洲不应该被大流行完全陷入困境。正如他们所说,这将通过。这也应该是在过去二十年中取得成就和挥霍机会的思考。尽管过去二十年来持续增长,但非洲经济体仍然易受外部冲击的影响 - 例如2014年的商品价格下降 - 更不用说历史上无与伦比的危机。

To transform its economies, Africa needs more than economic growth, as the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) has been advocating. Health, economic and political shocks will continue to haunt Africa and erode its hard-earned achievements. The panacea for this is diversification in both production and export. The crisis, for example, makes the business case for pharmaceutical companies even stronger.

Take Advantage of This Moment of Solidarity


可以为农业和农业综合性提供类似的案例,包括轻型制造。各级协调是实现这一目标所需的。危机预计将产生前所未有的团结 - 大陆的稀有商品 - 可用于实现此类协调。

Yohannis Mulu Tessema.


Yohannis Mulu Tessema.is a resident transformation fellow at the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET). He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Queensland, Australia.

    John Kojo Osei.

    Communications Officer at African Center for Economic Transformation

    John Kojo Osii是非洲经济转型中心(ACET)的通信官。约翰举办了来自加纳大学商学院的开发融资MSC。

      边缘的日常通讯提供关于企业风险和弹性的新思路。 订阅