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COVID-19: Africa should prioritise policy actions, investments for inclusive jobs—World Bank

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World Bank, Nigeria
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The World Bank Group has advised African governments to prioritise policy actions and investments that will address the challenge of creating more inclusive jobs and boost the economy of the continent.

Albert Zeufack, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa region said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.




Zeufack said this following the latest regional economic analysis “Africa’s Pulse: Charting the Road to Recovery”.

The analysis said that the growth in Sub-Saharan Africa was predicted to fall to -3.3 per cent in 2020, thus pushing the region into its first recession in 25 years.

He said that the fall would be driven by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The chief economist, however, said that addressing the challenge would lead to the economic recovery of Africa.

“The road to recovery may be long, and it may be steep, but prioritising policy actions and investments that address the challenge of creating more, better and inclusive jobs will pave the way for a faster, stronger and inclusive recovery for African countries.”

Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa lauded the efforts of African governments of putting in place policies and programmes for a post-pandemic recovery.

“Although the pandemic is not over, African governments have started putting in place policies and programmes to support an inclusive and sustainable post-pandemic recovery.

“Countries are putting in place policies and programmes that help create jobs and accelerate economic transformation to reduce the economic impact of the pandemic now and build the capabilities needed to ensure inclusive economic growth in the future.”

The analysis, Africa’s Pulse, said hat the road to recovery would also require massive investments across countries as well as financial support from the international community.

The bank recommended a bold reform agenda that would include policies that create fiscal space, along with policies to speed up job creation.

Ghanem said that several countries including South Africa, Nigeria, and Ethiopia had already begun implementing long-needed reforms in energy and telecommunications spurred by the current crisis.

He said the 25 per cent of African firms had accelerated the use of digital technology and increased investments in digital solutions.

“By mid-September, 46 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa had put in place 166 social protection measures with social assistance representing 84 per cent of these measures.

“Social protection programmes have proven to be a critical tool to mitigate the social impact of the pandemic,” it said.

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