Saturday, October 10, 2020

Africa's Pandemic Threat

 Of the 49 million people who could fall below the extreme poverty line because of the pandemic, nearly half (23 million) will probably be in sub-Saharan Africa. The recession will also break the expansion of the "middle class" – which has tripled in the last three decades – known for seeking better jobs, better education, and democratic reforms. And it is the youth who will pay the heaviest price: while 95 percent of workers aged 15 to 24 are in the informal sector, they are the first to be hit by the disruption of economic activity, which, according to the African Union, could lead to the disappearance of 20 million jobs.

For Africa as for the rest of the world, austerity is not an option.

 Women’s workloads have increased even more: those who were already spending more than 12.5 billion hours a day caring for children deprived of schools, the elderly, the sick and their homes without pay are on the verge of exhaustion.

Africa is losing nearly $89 billion a year in illicit financial flows equivalent to 3.7 percent of the continent’s GDP, amounting to more than it receives in development aid, a new United Nation study shows.

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