Analysis: COVID Pandemic Dampens Africa’s Economic Growth
By Mohammed Yusuf
Three years ago, nearly every country in Africa agreed to be part of a continental free trade area intended to lower tariffs and boost economies. But the agreement has yet to be fully implemented because of restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Bank says the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement set up the largest free trade bloc in the world, and has the potential to pull 30 million people out of poverty.
The agreement reduces tariffs between African countries and, the World Bank says, could boost Africa’s combined GDP by $450 billion by 2035.
But those prospects may not materialize because many countries in Africa have yet to fully open their economies due to health restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Photo courtesy of Kate Holt.