The African Development Bank (AfDB) has forecasted a drop of between $22.1billion and $88.3billion in Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to the ravaging effect of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which the continent and the whole world is currently experiencing.
According to the AfDB, as borders remain closed, and economic and social distress deepened, West Africa which was home to at least four of the continent’s fastest-growing economies before the advent of the pandemic, is currently feeling the impact of the disease so strongly.
The bank has distributed its COVID-19 emergency packages to the continent’s five geographic regions, From figures available; over €1.3 billion and $49.7 million have been deployed to 11 countries in the continent, plus the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
In the West African region, €481.5 million and $22 million have been deployed so far by the Bank. About €288.5 million was deployed to Nigeria, €88 million to Senegal, €75 million to Côte d’Ivoire, €30 million to Cabo Verde, while $22 million was given to the ECOWAS community. This is to enable the governments provide shortfall cash to the millions of people who have been affected by mass layoffs or are unable to work because of lockdowns.
For Gambia, Mali, and Niger, however, they would benefit from the ECOWAS support package to strengthen their national health systems, while a large chunk of the funds would be channeled to addressing shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other emergency equipment.
The North Africa region, being the worst to be hit by the pandemic with over 60,000 cases as at June 12, got €624 million and $500,000 which was deployed to triggering a sharp drop in household incomes as export and tourism earnings suffer. €264 million was deployed to Morocco, €180 million to Tunisia, and $500,000 to Egypt, to support national and regional coordination mechanisms.
In the East Africa region, €188 million was deployed to Kenya, being one of the top performing countries amongst Ethiopia, and Rwanda, which have all seen a sharp fall in tourism revenue.
Assistance from AfDB for the Southern Africa region, came in the form of preventive and protection measures, as well as financial assistance to the vulnerable beyond the end of the epidemic. €188 million was deployed to Mauritius, and $13.7 million to Zimbabwe.
In Central Africa where Cameroon reported over 8,000 cases and significant community transmission as at June 12, $13.5 million was approved for the provision of PPEs, testing kits, and healthcare facilities for Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic, which is among the countries with the least number of ventilators on the continent.
The Bank has also raised $3 billion from the Fight COVID-19 Social Bond, while it has also announced a COVID-19 Response Facility that will provide up to $10 billion to African governments and the private sector.