Africa will need more financial help to avoid “long-lasting, terrible consequences” from the coronavirus pandemic, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, said as the fund predicted a region-wide contraction of 3.2 per cent this year, far worse than it had forecast just 10 weeks ago.
“This is the heaviest hit on Africa at least since the 1970s,” Ms Georgieva said in an interview. Without tens of billions of dollars in additional support, she warned, “there can be very significant scarring that will have long-lasting, terrible consequences”.
Africa had been a “continent on the move”, she said, referring to several of the region’s economies — such as Ghana, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Rwanda and Senegal — that had been among the world’s fastest-growing in recent years. “This momentum is now dramatically interrupted.”