African countries have so far lost an estimated Sh2.9 trillion ($29 billion) to the coronavirus economic disruption the United Nations (UN) has revealed.
In it’s latest report, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) estimates that coronavirus will shave 1.4pc off Africa’s $2.1 trillion GDP.
Africa’s annual economic growth is likely to drop to 1.8pc in March from 3.2pc in February. “Africa may lose half of its gross domestic product with growth falling due to a number of reasons which include the disruption of global supply chains,” the ECA Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe said.
She said the continent would need up to US$ 10.6 billion in unanticipated increases in health spending to curtail the virus from spreading, while on the other hand revenue losses could lead to unsustainable debt.
Among the direct costs anticipated by ECA is expenditure of about Sh1.1 trillion ($10.6 billion) on drugs to tackle the novel virus that has formally been identified as Covid-19.
The ECA, which lists Kenya among the most exposed countries in the repayment of foreign loans, has also projected that diaspora remittances will shrink. For Kenya, remittances are an important source of the dollar and other foreign currencies. In the year to January 2020, Central Bank of Kenya placed the cumulative receipts at Sh281 billion.
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