Africa now epicentre of pandemic-induced economic devastation – Afreximbank

Africa has become the epicentre of the economic devastation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the African Export-Import Bank has said.

The President and Chairman, Board of Directors, Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, said the pandemic had exposed many weaknesses across the continent in the areas of infrastructure and economic policies.

“Where we are is that there is a crisis but we find that in many cases, some of our governments are not very well prepared…to deal with these kinds of situation,” he said at the 2020 edition of United Bank for Africa’s Africa Conversations on Monday.

The virtual high-level leadership panel discussion was moderated by the Chairman, UBA and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu. The symposium was organised in celebration of Africa Day.

Oramah, who lamented the infrastructural deficit in Africa, said the continent should seize the opportunity of the COVID-19 crisis to build healthcare infrastructure and a manufacturing base, among others.

“Africa has become the epicentre of the economic devastation that the COVID-19 has unleashed upon us,” he said.

He noted that countries, companies and individuals were looking for medical supplies, pharmaceutical supplies, and certain kinds of food “but we did not have the infrastructure to produce them.”

“We were waiting to be supplied from outside but the supply chains were all disrupted,” he added.

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