The African Development Bank (AfDB) says the corona virus pandemic has cost the world’s poorest region more than 30 million jobs and reversed a lot of the continent’s economic gains of recent years.
Bank President Akinwumi Adesina told CNBC Africa that Africa also lost between $145 and $190 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) to the virus while continental fiscal deficits ballooned to 75 percent from 60 percent before the crisis.
“The impact, everywhere you look has been very, very serious and to recover we need access to vaccines,” Adesina said, citing that the continent witnessed its worst growth rate in two decades.
Africa remains the least vaccinated region in the world with about 2.5 percent fully vaccinated to-date, against over 25 percent in Asia, 27% in South America and over 40 percent in Europe and North America.
The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization on Friday urged countries with large stocks of vaccines to share them lower income countries including those on the continent.
Adesina said Africa will need support to find the $485 billion needed to finance the recovery of African economies between this year and 2023. For its part, the Bank had availed $10 billion covid crisis response facility and a $3 billion social impact, the largest in the world.
“So we go to work with everybody from across the world to be able to raise the resources to support Africa to have the fiscal space it needs to be able to recover to recover.”
Adesina is Berlin, Germany for the Global Compact with Africa summit which is looking at ways of spurring greater macro-economic reforms in Africa as it tries to recover from the pandemic, ways to attract more private investment and strategies to deal with debt and try to recover some of the 20 percent drop in foreign direct investment the continent saw in 2020.
The summit brought together heads of states of some of the 12 African countries that have joined the compact and institutional partners including the AfDB. They debated ways to increase foreign direct investment and building vaccine manufacturing capacity on the continent.
They also got an update on the reforms being implemented to attract investment ways to address climate change and Africa’s debt burden.
“Africa will not be able to recover until Africans are vaccinated,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told the summit, a message endorsed by World Bank President David Malpass who noted that half of 54 vaccine financing programs were in Africa.
Adesina and International Fund Managing Director Katerina Georgieva said compact member nations were making greater gains than non-compact members.
“We have seen a lot of improvement in public private partnerships and in the cost and ease of doing business but also in terms of the companies that are investing in a lot of African countries.“