COVID-19: Sub-Saharan Africa needs $425bn to recover ― Adesina

Sub Saharan Africa will require $425 billion by the year 2030 to fully recover and move on from the effects of COVID-19 by 2030 according to President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

In his opening speech at the 2021 annual general meeting of the bank holding virtually in Accra, Ghana, Adesina said before the pandemic, six of the fastest-growing economies in the world were in Africa.

“The effects of the pandemic on the continent’s economy have been massive. Africa’s cumulative GDP losses are estimated between $145 billion and $190 billion.

“Africa will need a lot of resources to support its recovery. Low-income sub-Saharan African countries alone will need $245 billion by 2030, while all of sub-Saharan Africa will need $425 billion by 2030”, he disclosed while adding that the additional 30 million Africans that would have felling into poverty by the end of 2021.

While decrying the dependence of Africa on vaccine production and donations from abroad, Adesina said AfDB commit $3 billion to develop the pharmaceutical industry in Africa including the production of vaccines.

On escalating debts, he disclosed that during the past year, the bank has launched a Debt Action Plan and a new Strategy for Economic Governance in Africa.

“Both will support countries to tackle debt and to embark on bolder economic governance reforms to forestall a debt crisis.

“We now have a real opportunity to tackle Africa’s debt challenges, more decisively, with the recent decision by the IMF to issue $650 billion special drawing rights (SDRs).

“As agreed by African Heads of State and global leaders at the Summit on Financing of African Economies, called by President Emmanuel Macron of France, $100 billion of these SDRs should be provided to support Africa.”

However, he explained that debt resolution must be reinforced by stronger economic governance, public financial management, better and transparent management of Africa’s natural resources, and mobilisation of domestic resources.

But we must not let the pandemic mask the gains that we have made along the way. Adesina appealed to the board members not to become complacent or weary because of the setbacks by COVID-19.

“Over the past five years, before the pandemic, the Bank’s High5s have helped to improve the lives of 335 million Africans.

“The continent witnessed an increase in access to electricity for about 20 million people, as the Bank supported the generation of 3,000 megawatts of power.

“Access to electricity on the continent has increased from 49 per cent to 56 per cent since the Bank launched its New Deal on Energy for Africa.”

“The Bank has launched the Desert to Power initiative, a $20 billion program, to develop 10,000 megawatts of solar power in the Sahel, and provide electricity for 250 million people.”

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COVID-19: Sub-Saharan Africa needs $425bn to recover ― Adesina

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