According to the African Development Bank’s latest Africa Economic Outlook report, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic pose enormous challenges to the continent.
The bank’s chairman, Akinwumi Adesina, said at the launch of the report that it will take a lot of effort for Africa to fully recover.
“The recovery for Africa will be very costly. Africa will need at least $432 billion to deal with the effects of COVID-19 on its economies and on the lives of its people – resources it does not have.
A University of Ghana economist, Adu Owusu Sarkodie, told VOA that African economies could recover quickly from the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war by trading with each other and investing more in agriculture.
The war has disrupted wheat exports from Ukraine, driving up food prices across Africa.
“For Africa to get out of this mess, it needs to turn to local production, our economy needs to be inward looking right now. There are inputs that are missing, a typical example is fertilizer and I believe that African economies must be able to set up a fertilizer factory to produce their own fertilizer.Wheat supply is also in short supply, so there must be an attempt to grow their own wheat.
Sarkodie praised the African Development Bank for recently approving $1.5 billion to avert a 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 food crisis…so that amount of money, if available, should be invested in agricultural inputs, encouraging food production and building storage facilities to store the food so that it can be available during the lean season and to build good roads…it is absolutely necessary that we start working now to ensure food security.
As the war in Ukraine and the coronavirus pandemic continue to rage, plunging millions of Africans into extreme poverty, locals hope the initiatives of the African Development Bank and their governments will trigger an economic rebound.