Adesina: Africa Needs N201tr To Tackle COVID-19 Impact

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The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said Africa requires $484 billion (about N201.7 trillion) to tackle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Adesina said this in a paper titled: “Mobilising Financing for Africa’s Accelerated Economic Recovery, Development and Integration”, which was delivered at the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, attended by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “To address the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and support economic recovery, Africa will need some $484bn over the next three years. To eliminate extreme poverty by 2030, the continent will need $414bn to $784bn per year. Africa will need $7bn to $15bn a year to deal with climate change. The continent will also need between $68bn and $108bn per year to fix the infrastructure financing gap.”

Adesina also said the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by $165bn (N68.7trn) in 2020 during the heat of the pandemic.

According to him, “It has been a global economic cyclone. Africa witnessed a decline in GDP growth of 2.1 per cent in 2020; its lowest in 20 years. Africa’s GDP fell by $165bn. Over 30 million jobs were lost and over 26 million people fell into extreme poverty.”

The AfDB boss, who, however, praised the effort of African leaders in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, warned against outsourcing Africa’s security to foreigners.

He said, “I wish to commend the leadership effort of the African Union and our heads of state and government for the critical roles you have played in dealing with the pandemic and the socio-economic challenges in its wake. Today, thanks to these efforts, 11 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated, and another 16 per cent has been partially vaccinated.

“However, while developed countries have moved to booster shots, Africa is still struggling with basic shots.”