The European Business Council for Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has worsened the vulnerabilities caused by the excessive reliance of African economies on world markets. 

Africa’s main trade partners include the European Union, China, United States and the United Kingdom. Together they represent more than 50% of the continent’s trade flows (see figure 1 and 2 below). 

Africa’s dependence on external markets for medicinal and pharmaceutical products is particularly acute – Africa imports more than 95% of these products from outside the continent. 

As the continent’s main trade partners have been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa has suffered significant business disruptions and output contraction, including in export sectors. 

Africa’s GDP could contract by 1.4% in 2020 while the continent’s total merchandise exports could decline by 17%. McKinsey estimates that Africa’s manufacturing sector output will shrink by 10% in 2020 – equivalent to a loss of more than $50 billion – as result of COVID-19.  […]

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