Ebola crisis dampens Africa’s economic growth

The rosy growth expectations for Africa have been overshadowed by the year-old, worst-ever Ebola outbreak originating and raging in West Africa.

The global death toll from the deadly epidemic has risen to 7,588 out of 19,497 confirmed cases, according to the latest figures released on Wednesday by the World Health Organization (WHO). The hardest-hit countries are Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Africa was expected to continue its robust growth in 2014 as well as 2015 owing to supportive external demand conditions and strong growth in public and private investment.

However, the Ebola outbreak has clouded the scenario, and experts warn that it is not time for the international community to be complacent although the spread of the epidemic appears to slow down in certain parts of West Africa, as the economies of the three worst-hit countries were crippled and spillover effects began to be felt by other African countries.

“Not only will it deal a heavy blow to Africa, but it has already done so,” said Margaret Jowi, a Kenyan expert in communicable diseases, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

She said a closer scenario to Kenya is that the country’s national carrier Kenya Airways has incurred massive losses, as much as millions […]

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