-by our correspondent.
Having been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, economic activities in the African region has fallen by about 3.7 percent since last year.
The World Bank disclosed this in its latest report which also forecast growth for the region to resume at a moderate average pace of 3 percent and the global economy at 4 percent in 2021 to 22.
According to the report, persistent outbreaks of the ravaging pandemic in many countries around the world will continue to constrain economic recovery and growth in Sub-Saharan Africa for a long time, as the roll out of vaccines in the region is expected to trail behind that of advanced economies.
“As a result, living standards are likely to be set back a decade and tens of millions of people in the region could be pushed into extreme poverty cumulatively in 2020-21. Risks to the regional outlook are tilted to the downside, and include weaker-than-expected recoveries in key trading partner economies, logistical hurdles that further impede vaccine distribution, and scarring of labor productivity that weakens potential growth and income over the longer term.” The report read.
In Nigeria and South Africa, the Bank said output fell sharply last year owing to domestic outbreaks of the pandemic and the countries heavy dependence on commodity exports and tourism as well as strict lockdowns that brought their economies to a standstill.
The report expects Nigeria’s growth to restart by 1.1 per cent in 2021 from a contraction of 4.1 per cent the previous year while South Africa is expected to rebound to 3.3 per cent in 2021.
“Activity is nevertheless anticipated to be dampened by low oil prices, OPEC quotas, falling public investment due to weak government revenues, constrained private investment due to firm failures, and subdued foreign investor confidence.” The World Bank noted.