The African Development Bank (AfDB), has estimated that Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could lose about $173.1 billion by the end of 2020, and $236.7 billion in 2021, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world since January.
The full extent of the damage the disease caused the continent’s economy might eventually prove to be more than this.
The bank made this forecast at its virtual 55th annual meetings and the 46th annual meetings of the Board of Governors of the African Development Fund (ADF), that took place recently.
According to the bank, the movement restrictions and total lockdown imposed by different governments in the continent in an effort to contain the virus lead to loss of millions of jobs and folding up of small and medium-sized enterprises.
The newly re-elected president of the bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, addressing the virtual meeting while Speaking at the virtual meeting, said Africa lost over a decade gains in economic growth due to the pandemic.
He reiterated that the bank is working hard to ameliorate the impact of the expected economic recession in Africa. However, he estimates that Africa’s recovery from the effects of Covid-19 on the economy will be long and arduous.
He emphasized on the need for member cointries to work with synergy in reviving the economy. He remarked that it is vital to rebuild boldly, but smartly, paying greater attention to quality growth in health, climate, and the environment.
Commenting on his reelection, Dr. Adesina said that being the first president of the Bank to be re-elected by a vote, shows how transparent the Bank is and its high level of standards and commitment to accountable and good corporate governance.
He lauded the Bank’s Board of Governors for their collective trust, confidence, and support, noting that he was greatly honored and humbled, as it was yet another call for selfless service to Africa and the AfDB.
An AfDB Investigative panel had earlier in July exonerated Dr. Adesina of accusations of nepotism levelled against him.