88. African Development Bank: African Economic Outlook 200 Amid COVID-19
The African Development Bank released the “African Economic Outlook 2020 Supplement 2020 - Amid COVID-19” on July 7, 2020. Although it was compiled at the beginning of 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 had a great impact on various aspects of the African economy. This supplementary material reviews the economic growth projections of African countries for 2020 and 2021 in order to assess the impact of COVID-19 and to provide the information needed for countries to take strategic responses.
The GDP in Africa is projected to contract by 1.7% due to COVID-19, which is a large drop of 7.3% from the growth projected before the outbreak of COVID-19. There are already some problems caused by the increase in government spending, and it is predicted that prices of daily necessities such as food and energy will rise in the future. In Africa, it is estimated that 425 million people are already in extreme poverty (living for less than US$1.9 a day), but the most pessimistic projection is that COVID-19 will affect another 49 million people and an estimated 30 million jobs could be lost.
To tackle this issue, governments and development partners must respond in a strategic, targeted and rapid manner using all available policy levers, and to further strengthen the economy and build resilience against further issues in the post-COVID-19 world. In order to recover and improve the resilience of the economy, the importance of policy recommendations for improving agricultural productivity and labor was highlighted as agriculture is expected to become a driving force for economic recovery.
Even in Africa, agriculture's share of GDP is gradually declining, but it still depends on this sector for much of its employment (70% in East Africa, 42.7% in West Africa). Moreover, in response to the global value chain disruption caused by COVID-19, the stabilization of food production is being recognized again as an important issue.
Currently, JIRCAS is conducting five projects in eight African countries and operating research for the efficiency and stabilization of agriculture. COVID-19 also limits research activities, but in order to strengthen the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sector in the post-COVID-19 era, we are working closely with our collaborators to tackle the big problem of food production in Africa.
Contributor: MURANAKA Satoru (Crop, Livestock and Environment Division)