The Impact of COVID-19 on Vulnerable Citizens in Southern Africa

The Economic Commission for Africa estimates that Africa may lose half of its GDP with economic growth falling from 3.2% to about 2%. This loss is largely due to the continent’s economic linkage to other affected economies of the European Union, China and the United States. The pandemic has disrupted the global supply and value chains and the ECA has further estimated that African countries will need more than US$10.6 billion for expenditure in the health sector to stop the spread of the virus. With limited domestic financing options, African countries will have to borrow more money. The emerging challenges from the pandemic require significant additional financing. Considering our narrow tax bases in Africa which have weak tax collection mechanisms and also the significant dependence on commodity revenues has limited Africa’s response to the Coronavirus African countries need significant additional financing to develop new policy responses or approaches to overcome the emerging socio-economic challenges.

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