The African Development Bank has projected a bleak future for 39 million Africans it said would experience extreme poverty in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank stated this in its 2021 edition of the African Economic Outlook, focusing on debt resolution, governance, and growth in Africa.
The bank, which also cautioned that Africa’s predicted growth could be subject to major downside risks arising from both external and domestic factors, said: “Despite the challenging backdrop of a global pandemic and external economic shocks, Africa is expected to recover from its worst recession in half a century and reach 3.4 percent growth in 2021.
“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in December 2019 has taken a massive toll on Africa, hitting tourism-dependent economies, oil-exporting economies and other-resource intensive economies the hardest, as well as deepening inequality.
“The continent-wide projected recovery, following a 2.1 per cent contraction in 2020, does not remove the threat of increasing poverty. An estimated 39 million Africans could possibly slip into extreme poverty this year, following about 30 million who were pushed into extreme poverty in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The report finds that populations with lower levels of education, few assets, and working in informal jobs are the most affected and must be protected.”