The World Bank said that in Sub-Saharan Africa activity shrank an estimated 3.7% last year.
The decline in per capita income is expected to set average living standards back by a decade or more in a quarter of Sub-Saharan African economies.
South Africa and Nigeria, the two largest economies in the region, saw output fall sharply in 2020 and agriculture growth slowing. Both countries also saw a dramatic drop in per capita income, which has pushed tens of millions more people into extreme poverty.
It said in a press statement that the pandemic has caused “a heavy toll of deaths and illness, plunged millions into poverty, and may depress economic activity and incomes for a prolonged period”.