Economic Outlook 2022: Africa faces rickety rebound

Economic Outlook 2022: Africa faces rickety rebound
Economic Outlook 2022: Africa faces rickety rebound

Africa-Press – Lesotho. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Africa entered one of the most torrid recessions in half a century, its combined GDP contracting by 2.1%. The epic contraction was largely driven by African governments implementing strict lockdowns amid fears that Covid-19 would overrun fragile health services across the continent.

2021 was a different story.

Last year, sub-Saharan Africa grew by a modest 3.7% according to the IMF, driven by a partial resumption of tourism, a rebound in commodity prices and the rollback of pandemic-induced restrictions.

However, the outlook for 2022 looks barely unchanged as the Fund predicts that sub-Saharan Africa’s growth will only increase by 0.1% to 3.8%. Firstly, the global lender says that Africa will continue to face Covid-19 related problems, compounded by a vaccination rate that lags well behind most other regions.

In the absence of vaccines, the emergence of deadly and more transmissible new variants threatens to make Africa a global outlier on the road to recovery.

Though the Omicron variant has been found to be less deadly than past mutations, it was first discovered in South Africa and it becomes the second mutation to emerge from the country.

Scientists believe that the high presence of co-morbidities like HIV creates the perfect environment for new variants to grow, threatening the country’s rebound and the extended region in general.

Late last year, a large swathe of Southern African countries, including South Africa, were added to travel bans by a range of countries across the world in response to the emergence of Omicron.

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