39 million Africans may fall into poverty this year, says Adesina
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, stated this at the ongoing virtual Africa Singapore Business Forum, where he noted that the 39 million people could pass on as an added number to 30 million individuals rendered poor in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
According to Dr. Adesina, the “people impact” is the worst negative consequence of the pandemic as over 30 million people have lost their jobs, and inflation is spiralling out of control.
“The debt also began to accumulate. The debt to gross domestic product (GDP) went up to between 60 and 70 per cent. But that is just on the financial side. I am more bothered about the people’s impact,” he noted.
However, Dr. Adesina highlighted that 85 per cent of operators in the special economic zones of Africa believed that the foreign direct investment (FDI) flow to the continent would rise significantly again, while 90 per cent outside Africa believed the same.
In his statement, he explained that Africa holds the key to the global economy with enormous opportunity for return on investment (RoI), stressing that the continent has improved tremendously in the ease of doing business.
The President also called for “resilient and quality” infrastructure to make Africa truly attractive to the rest of the world after addressing the issue of poor infrastructure that has blighted the potential of the continental economy. “Recent investments by AfDB and other stakeholders are reversing the story,” he said.
Okonjo-Iweala urges developed economies to support African countries with IMF allocations.
The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has asked developed countries to channel their shares of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to poorer countries particularly those in Africa, to support their Covid19 fight.
Before her message, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, had announced the largest allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in history—about US$650 billion to combat this unprecedented crisis.
Mrs Okonjo-Iweala encouraged developed countries to support poorer counterparts in the fight against COVID-19. She added that these developing countries would use the support to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although Africa is entitled to about $33 billion, French President Emmanuel Macron, during a summit of African leaders in May, pledged to urge richer nations to support an allocation of $100 billion to Africa.