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Sub-Saharan Africa will Suffer its First Recession In 25 years

A World Bank report predicts this as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak. In a grim assessment, the bank says that the region’s economy could shrink by as much as 5.1%. It points to the impact that the virus will have on Africa’s key trading partners as well as a fall in commodity prices as the main causes. Several African countries are using lockdowns to control the virus’ spread. These will also negatively affect economic growth on a continent, which has had some of the world’s fastest growing economies in recent years. Earlier this week, an African Union report said that nearly 20 million jobs on the continent “are threatened with destruction”. There are currently more than 11,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and there have been more than 570 confirmed deaths across Africa. South Africa, one of the continent’s largest economies, has been the worst hit and is about to enter the third week of a strict lockdown. The World Bank said that sub-Saharan Africa could need an economic stimulus of as much as $100bn to help it recover. The package should include temporary debt relief amounting to $44bn, the World Bank added in comments echoing earlier statements from African leaders.