COVID-19 in Africa Study: Number of extremely poor to increase by over 50 million | Press | DW | 25.06.2020
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COVID-19 in Africa Study: Number of extremely poor to increase by over 50 million

A new study on the impact of COVID-19 in Africa forecasts increased deaths, a debt crisis, but also a digital transition to a more sustainable economy. DW will publish findings of the study in six languages.

Jakkie Cilliers (DW/T. Waldyes)

Dr Jakkie Cilliers, lead author of the study

Death, debt, but also opportunities – this is the forecast of a new report on the impact of COVID-19 in Africa. The report conducted by the Institute for Security Studies, Gordon Institute of Business Science and Frederick S Pardee Center for International Futures presents scenarios on the potential impact of COVID-19 in Africa including the failure to achieve sustainable development goal 1 which is to eliminate extreme poverty by 2050.

"What coronavirus is going to do is increase on our current forecast the numbers of extremely poor Africans by anywhere between 53 and 61 million people. So, we are significantly off track, not only on extreme poverty, but on a range of other indicators," Dr Jakkie Cilliers, lead author of the study told DW in an interview.

"COVID-19 is going to have a huge impact on growth in Africa and while we have to deal with the health and the mortality impact in the short term, this accentuates the importance of restructuring African economies for much more rapid growth. That is the only thing that is going to allow us to eventually recover from COVID-19," added the founder and former head of the Institute for Security Studies.

"The study comes at a very important time and is the first comprehensive long-term forecast of the health and economic impact of the pandemic on Africa up to 2030," said Markus Ferber, Member of the European Parliament and Chairman of the German Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), co-financers of the research alongside Humanity United.

DW will publish findings of the study in six languages (Amharic, French, English, Hausa, Kiswahili and Portuguese) via radio, TV, online and social media channels.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March, DW has recorded a sharp increase in usage in Africa – a harbinger of the necessity of credible information particularly during the global health crisis.

DW has a weekly audience of around 62 million in sub-Saharan Africa. 

More information on the study: Coronavirus may trigger debt emergency across Africa, new study finds

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