SSA’s long and painful road to recovery

January 15, 2021/United Capital Report

In our 2021 outlook report, we stated that the outlook for SSA economies was largely dependent on the pandemic. Recent data of Covid-19 caseloads across the region has seen a spike in the number of cases in what has been confirmed as the second wave. This has led to increased calls for another round of lockdown and stiff restrictions as authorities attempt to safeguard health. However, the economic cost of another lockdown remains a concern. Restating our viewpoint, curtailing the spread of the virus and widespread inoculation of citizens would go a long way in keeping prospects for a V-shaped recovery alive. 

In what appears to be positive vaccine-related news, a statement credited to Senior Science Adviser for the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the African Union (AU) has secured close to 300million Covid-19 vaccine doses. Noteworthy to mention, the 300 million doses are independent of the global COVAX effort aimed at distributing Covid-19 vaccines to lower-income countries. The vaccines are expected to be available before the end of Q1 2021 and will be distributed on the platform of the AU among the 54 African countries.

We think this is a major step in the right direction to lifting the region out of the current economic slump. That said, the Africa CDC warned that each citizen would need two doses of the vaccine implying the continent would need an estimated 2.4 billion doses (based on a population of 1.2 billion). Thus, the 300 million doses expected in Q1 2021 only caters for 12.5% of the continent’s need, far below the 70% population immunity required. Against this backdrop, the road to recovery could remain long and painful.

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