According to the latest African Economic Outlook report by the African Development Bank, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic pose major challenges for the continent.
The Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, said at the launch of the report that it would take a lot of effort for Africa to make a full recovery.
“Recovery will be very expensive for Africa. Africa will need at least $432 billion to address the effects of COVID-19 on its economies and the lives of its people – it just doesn’t have the resources. ,
Adu Owusu Sarkody, an economist at the University of Ghana, told VOA that African economies could quickly recover from the effects of the Russo-Ukraine war by trading among themselves and investing more in agriculture.
The war cut wheat exports from Ukraine, causing food prices to rise across Africa.
“For Africa to come out of this mess they have to focus on local production, our economy has to look at this point of time. There are some inputs that are in short supply, a typical example is fertilizers and I think African economies should be able to set up a fertilizer plant to produce its own fertiliser. Wheat is also short in supply so should try to grow its own wheat.”
Sarkody commended the African Development Bank for its recent approval of $1.5 billion to stem the food crisis on the continent by providing seeds and other supplies to 20 million farmers.
“The last thing we want to see in Africa is a food crisis… so this amount, if available, should be invested in agricultural inputs, stimulating food production and building storage facilities to store food. So that they are available in less season and can build good roads… We absolutely need to start working towards ensuring food security now.”
As war and the coronavirus pandemic continue to rage in Ukraine, pushing millions of Africans into extreme poverty, locals are hoping initiatives by the African Development Bank and their governments will fuel an economic rebound.
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