Thirty-nine million Africans are at risk of falling into extreme poverty by 2021. This was announced by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in a report published last week.
In its African Economic Outlook 2021, the institution said the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to affect the most fragile segments of the African population.
More people could be affected this year than in 2020 when 30 million Africans were pushed into extreme poverty by the pandemic. The AfDB report also found that the populations with low levels of education, few assets, and working in the informal sector will be the most affected.
Yet by 2021, the continent’s overall economic growth is expected to recover. In 2020, the pandemic had led to a sharp decline in tourism, oil, and other commodity-related activities, as well as transport due to restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. This plunged the continent into its “worst recession in half a century,” at -2.1%, AfDB said.
For 2021, the AfDB expects economic growth of 3.4% for Africa, driven by a gradual return to normalcy in several key sectors of the African economy. Unfortunately, the projected continent-wide recovery does not eliminate the threat of growing poverty.