Pandemic in a Fragile Region: The Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa

Document Type : Conceptual Paper

Author

Independent Researcher, 150 Street 26 June District, Hargeisa, Somalia

Abstract

The global economy has plummeted since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world in early 2020. While the economic effect of the pandemic has been felt globally, it was grave in Sub-Saharan Africa due to the region’s fragility. This article aims to probe the economic impact of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa and while doing so, examines the effect by sector, giving specific emphasis to the most affected sectors - among these are tourism, commodity exports and trade, remittances, and financial and fiscal sectors. Moreover, the study attempts to understand how the pandemic contributed to or rather exacerbated the existing problems in the region including poverty, unemployment, and inequality. As a result of the pandemic, hard-earned economic growth has been reversed, millions have been pushed into poverty, inequality has widened, and entire sectors have collapsed or extremely crippled. Above all, the pandemic pushed Sub-Saharan Africa into the first recession in twenty-five years.

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