The poor performance of South Africa, Nigeria and Angola has dragged down the prospects of the African continent. Together, these two countries account for 50% of sub-Saharan GDP.
In South Africa, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane is working hard to bring back international tourists. Since the so-called “South Africa” variant of Covid-19 appeared in the fall of 2020, many airlines have cancelled all flights to the country. Less than half of the operators that provided connectivity before the pandemic would maintain or resume their activities.
“South Africa is safe”, The Minister insisted that “False information” Regarding the country’s health, the country reopened its borders six months ago. After the horrors of 2020, people are eagerly watching the recovery of the tourism industry, which is the engine of the economy. In this frightening yearbook, tourism activity dropped sharply by 7%.
The pandemic and its accompanying health restrictions (including one of the strictest confinements on the planet) caused violent shocks, but also due to structural difficulties: power shortages, aging infrastructure, governance issues, rampant corruption…Africa The most industrialized countries have been struggling for years, and the prospect of a rebound remains timid. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that it will grow by 3.1% by 2021. Considering the severity of the economic recession, this increase will moderately catch up.
The fate of South Africa is somewhat reminiscent of two other heavyweights in Africa: Nigeria and Angola. Although the two major African oil producers have not recovered from the 2014-2016 oil shocks, they have still been hit hard by the pandemic-related price drops. Despite rising prices and production, growth prospects remain dismal: After three years of recession, Angola’s growth was 0.9% and Nigeria’s was 2.4%.
Like South Africa, these two countries are also facing long-term governance and underinvestment issues. They suffer from high inflation (23% of food in Nigeria in March), a large number of youth unemployment and a lack of diversification in the economic structure. “These three economies are no longer acting as locomotives on the African continent. They are not brave in the face of Covid. This will only increase their difficulties.”, Emphasized Dominique Fruchter, an economist in charge of Africa at Coface.
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