African economies may bounce in two years: AfDB

Saturday February 13 2021
Economy pic

African Development (AFDB) president Akinwumi Adesina gestures as he addresses a press conference after a G5 sahel energy summit in Ouagadougou. - An independent panel of experts, headed by former Irish president Mary Robinson, has cleared the beleaguered leader of the African Bank of Development (AfDB) of corruption, according to a report obtained by AFP.

By Zephania Ubwani
By Agencies

Arusha. African economies may bounce back in the next two years from the devastating effects of Covid-19.

The African Development Bank (AfDB), however, says that will largely depend on debt relief and how Africa gets enough vaccines for its population.

“I am very positive that African economies will bounce back over the next two years,” said the President of the pan-African bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

He said a timely debt relief from the creditors would help African economies recover faster and better from the pandemic. “There is light at the end of the just happens to be a long tunnel,” he said early this week in a virtual event as the outgoing African of the Year of African Leadership Magazine.

He, however, stressed that the anticipated recovery would need Africa to be given a fair accessibility to Covid-19 vaccines.

“The world must not short-change Africa on access to vaccines,” he said, noting that as long as coronavirus remains unchecked, no one would be safe.


Dr Adesina added that significant debt relief would be key to accelerating African economies’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. “To recover faster, Africa will need significant debt forgiveness from bilateral and official creditors,” he was quoted saying by wire agencies.

He noted while the developed countries have been spending trillions of dollars for fiscal stimulus, Africa does not have such resources. “The payment for vaccines is already adding to the already high debt burden,” the AfDB boss pointed out.

Dr Adesina was awarded African of the Year Award by the magazine for the bank’s outstanding achievements during 2020.

African leaders who have previously won the African Leadership Magazine African of the Year Award included the former President Jakaya Kikwete (2014). He was followed by a Tanzanian businessman Mo Dewji who was awarded in 2016.

Others were President Paul Kagame of Rwanda (2017), ex-Liberian leader Ms Elen Johnson Sirleaf and Sudanese businessman Mo Ibrahim in 2012.

Last month the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Africa’s economic growth for last year declined by 2.1 per cent - the worst in two decades due to Covid-19.

It estimated the cumulative loss of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) for 2020 and 2021 to be $173 billion and $236 billion respectively.