Dec 9, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Low vaccination rates will slow sub-Saharan economic growth recover growth

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is expected to grow 3.7% in 2021 and 3.8% in 2022, depending on the success of efforts to contain Covid-19.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows in its October Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, One Planet, Two Worlds, Three Stories published on Thursday, that vaccination in sub-Saharan Africa has been slower than in other regions due to poor access to and supply of vaccines.

The IMF’s outlook shows that export restrictions by major countries to manufacture vaccines and calls for booster vaccinations in advanced economies have slowed vaccination rates on the continent. Only three percent of the population have been fully vaccinated, compared to nearly 60 percent or more in developed economies.

“With Covid-19, the threat of new varieties underscores the need for a global response, with a particular focus on the unvaccinated People in Africa.

“The IMF has proposed a plan to vaccinate at least 40 percent of the total population of all countries by the end of 2021 and 70 percent by the first half of 2022,” the report said.

Vulnerable populations

The pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities and inequality in countries, and inflation threatens to jeopardize gains in food security, which could lead to social and political instability .

Abebe Selassie, director of the IMF’s Africa division, said if the pandemic continues, a return to normal will not be easy.

“In the absence of vaccines, locks and other eggs Containment measures were the only way to contain the virus.

At 3.7 percent this year, the recovery in sub-Saharan Africa will be the slowest in the world as advanced markets grow more than five percent, while other emerging and developing countries are growing by more than six percent, “said Selassie.

The IMF has proposed a plan to raise at least 40 percent of the total population of all countries by the end of 2021 and 70 percent by the first half of 2022 vaccinate.

Commodity price hikes have also helped some countries, but these unexpected gains are often volatile and cannot replace more permanent sources of growth.

With around 30 million people plunged into extreme poverty, the crisis has exacerbated income inequality as well as subnational geographic regions.

The report notes that increasing debt vulnerability remains a concern d many governments have to carry out budget consolidation.

National debt is expected to decline slightly to 56.6 percent of GDP in 2021, from the pre-pandemic of 50.4 percent of GDP.

The Half of the low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are either in debt distress or at high risk.

And other countries could find themselves under pressure in the future, as debt servicing accounts for an increasing share of government funds.

There are also weaknesses related to the composition of public debt. About half of the region’s public debt is external debt. China is a dominant player among bilateral creditors, accounting for about half of the debt to bilateral creditors and 7.5 percent of total public debt.

Also, debt to China is concentrated in five countries, namely Angola , Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa, which account for 60 percent of China’s outstanding loans to Africa.

The recent Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation has increased the region’s reserves and eased the burden on authorities like them the recovery their countries. And shifting SDRs from countries with strong external positions to countries with weaker fundamentals could help build the region’s resilience.