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A Tally of COVID-19’s Impact in Africa

Economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic has so far cost African economies $29 billion, the United Nations has said, warning that the loss could rise in the coming months as more countries in the region report confirmed cases of the virus. Uganda was the latest to record a novel case of the COVID-19, which although broke out late in Africa compared to other continents, has now spread to more than 40 countries in the region, killing over 30. As the virus disrupts businesses on the continent and across the globe, the UN Economic Commission for Africa expects that the pandemic will slash some 1.4 percent from Africa’s $2.1 trillion gross domestic product, it said in its latest report. More so, the continent’s annual economic growth will likely drop from 3.2 percent in February to 1.8 percent in March, it adds. The crisis could seriously impede Africa’s already stagnant growth, the UN agency warned, with the continent expected to spend more than $10.6 billion in unanticipated increases in their health budgets to curb the spread of the virus.