COVID-19: Nearly 20 million people to be rendered jobless in Africa – AU report

According to a report by the African Union, about 20 million individuals from the African continent stand a chance of losing their jobs due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic worldwide.

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The report notes that the development will result from a combination of job losses in both the formal and informal sectors.

The report titled “Impact of the coronavirus on the Africa economy” said the continent’s economy will shrink this year due to the coronavirus.

“Nearly 20 million jobs, both in the formal and informal sectors, are threatened with destruction on the continent if the situation continues,” the report said.

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The report further notes that Africa’s economy will shrink 0.8%, while under a pessimistic scenario there would be a 1.1% dip with governments possibly losing up to 20 to 30% of their fiscal revenue, estimated at 500 billion in 2019.

It also notes that exports and imports are projected to drop at least 35% from 2019 levels, incurring a loss in the value of trade of around $270 billion with oil-producing countries being the hardest hit with an estimated $65 billion loss in income.

Tourism minded countries according to the report will also not be spared.

“Under the average scenario, the tourism and travel sector in Africa could lose at least $50 billion due to the covid-19 pandemic and at least 2 million direct and indirect jobs,” the report said.

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It added that, “With economic activity in the doldrums in many advanced and emerging market countries, remittances to Africa could experience significant declines.”

Although Africa accounts for just a fraction of total cases of the virus worldwide according to the global statics by Johns Hopkins University, projections are that the world economy  is headed for a sharp downturn, where several countries could plunge into recession this year.

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