According to the African Development Bank, West and Central Africa stand to be most hit by the economic slump. Nigeria, the continent’s most populous country, would see the greatest rise in poverty.
In the bank’s latest economic outlook, roughly a third of the continent was already expected to live below the international poverty line of 1.90 US dollars per day in 2020.
Health crisis and ensuing lockdowns have destroyed jobs, crippled incomes and devastated economies continent-wide.
With this in mind, the AfDB expects Africa to suffer a major recession, with GDP forecast to contract between 1.7 percent to 3.4 percent this year. Furthermore, the institution says that between 24.6 and 30 million jobs would be lost this year due to the virus crisis.
Nevertheless, the bank noted that Africa’s economic growth could rebound in 2021, provided that governments manage the COVID-19 infection rate well.