The International Monitory Fund (IMF) has revised downwards its 2020 economic growth prospects for Sub-Saharan African countries from -3.2 percent to -3 percent.
The fund has also slightly downgraded the growth for 2021 for the region from 3.4 percent projected during the second quarter review to 3.1 percent reviewed from the third quarter.
In a statement on the review of the quarter, IMF Chief Economist and Director of the Research Department, Gita Gopinath, said there is significant heterogeneity with the region.
“There is always a difference between countries that are more diversified, that seem to have better growth than others but it is also important to keep in mind that for instance, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank projected that over 20 million people will enter extreme poverty this year,” Gopinath said.
The diversity of the countries and predicted differences in growth bonds with comments from the Malawi government and local economic experts in the country.
Finance Minister Felix Mlusu, recently maintained that the Malawi economy will grow by 1.9 percent in 2020 and 3.5 percent in 2021.
Speaking in an earlier interview, Economics Association of Malawi president, Lauryn Nyasulu, said the output is achievable because Malawi has not been hit hard by pandemic compared as to other economies.
She added that for the growth to be achieved, however, there is a need to support sectors which have been hit hard by the pandemic.
“We need to provide support to the sectors that have been hit hard such as tourism, construction, hospitality, and logistics and supply because even though these sectors may not contribute as much as agriculture and other sectors but the Covid-19 knock on them has disturbed economic activities because unemployment has increased in the sectors,” Nyasulu added.
On the global outlook, IMF predicts that the economy will face a recession of -4.4 in 2020 and to rebound with 5.2 percent in 2021.
The pandemic has hit hard on the sectors which depend on the traveling of people such tourism, transportation and hospitality.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
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