Roscongress Foundation Publishes Reports on the Impact of the Pandemic on the African Economy

On the Roscongress Foundation portal ‘Anticrisis Plan. Global Best Practices’ and in the ROSCONGRESS.ORG Information and Analytical System a report has been posted on the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on the economies of African countries.

A review of studies conducted by McKinsey and the World Bank examines the economic impact of the pandemic on African economies and possible scenarios for the development of the economic crisis.

The factors that are set to have the biggest impact on the African economy are disruptions in global supply chains, a decline in demand for a wide range of African exports, a delay or significant reduction in foreign direct investment, and a collapse in oil and other commodity prices.

McKinsey analysts modeled four scenarios of how the prevalence of COVID-19 will impact African economic growth. Even in the most optimistic scenario, GDP growth in Africa will drop to 0.4% in 2020, and this scenario looks less likely every day. In all other scenarios, analysts predict that in 2020 Africa will experience an economic downturn, with GDP growth declining by 5-8 percentage points. Experts from the World Bank share the pessimism of their colleagues and predict that the continent will experience its first recession in 25 years.

The studies also provided proposed anti-crisis measures that African countries are recommended to pay priority attention to.

During the webinar ‘African Industrial Capacity Towards Critical Pharmaceutical and Medical Supplies’, organized in April by the African Union Development Agency AUDA-NEPAD, issues were discussed related to stimulating local production and distributing essential medical supplies. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that local production does not have the capacity to meet the growing demand for medicines. At the same time, the current crisis presents enormous opportunities for Africa in terms of revitalizing local producers, the participants in the webinar concluded.

During the meeting, recommendations were provided to combat the spread and subsequent negative effects of the coronavirus infection, including the search for new mechanisms for financing producers, building an innovative supply chain and strengthening the potential of local production via state policy focused on the use of local goods.

To participants in the Russia–Africa Economic Forum

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you at the opening of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum.

The rich history of relations between Africa and Russia has never seen an event of a similar scale. Members of government agencies and business community, and experts are meeting at this Forum to substantively discuss the current status and prospects of cooperation and a wide range of topical issues of the world economy.

Today, the countries of Africa are well on their way towards social, economic, scientific and technological development, and are playing a significant role in international affairs. They are strengthening mutually beneficial integration processes within the African Union and other regional and sub regional organizations across the continent.

In recent years, the traditionally friendly ties of partnership between Russia and Africa have gained new momentum, both at a bilateral level and in various multilateral formats. In addition to preserving our past experience of successful cooperation, we have also managed to make significant new steps forward. Trade and investment are growing dynamically, and new joint projects are under way in extractive industries, agriculture, healthcare, and education. Russian companies are ready to offer their scientific and technological developments to their African partners, and share their experience of upgrading energy, transport and communications infrastructures.

I hope that the Forum will help identify new areas and forms of cooperation, put forward promising joint initiatives that will bring the collaboration between Russia and Africa to a qualitatively new level and contribute to the development of our economies and the prosperity of our peoples.

I wish the Forum’s participants fruitful work and all the best.

Vladimir Putin

The Russia–Africa Summit, which is taking place in Sochi on 23–24 October 2019, encapsulates the historically friendly relations between the African continent and the Russian Federation. This Summit carries great significance as it is the first of its kind to emerge during a period of major global and international transformations. In response to the aspirations of the people it is representing, the Summit intends to build a comprehensive framework for expanding Russian–African relations into broader horizons of joint cooperation across different fields.

The African nations and Russia share a common understanding of international relations, based on the principles of respect for the rule of international law, equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. Both sides affirm their commitment to support multilateral actions to oppose new international threats, be they terrorism and extremism in all their forms, or declining growth rates. The two sides share a firm conviction regarding the importance of developing trade flows and supporting mutual investment in such a way as to ensure security, peace and development for the African and Russian people.

African countries have huge potential and opportunities that will allow them, once efforts to streamline their economies have been achieved, to emerge as real global players. In recent years, the nations of this continent have achieved major successes spanning the political, economic, social and administrative spheres. Africa has flourished in terms of growth over the past decade, reaching a continent-wide growth rate of 3.55% in 2018.

The African Union Summit, which was held in Niger in July 2019, continued the efforts of the African countries and saw the African Continental Free Trade Agreement come into force, along with its operational instruments. The agreement is one of the key objectives of Agenda 2063, an African development strategy that has been created to address the African people’s desire for prosperity and decent living standards.

These successes are opening up wide-ranging prospects for cooperation between African countries and the Russian Federation, and confirm the determination of African governments and their people to cooperate with multiple partners in order to establish mutually beneficial relations.

With this in mind, we express our hopes that the Russia–Africa Summit will help in the establishment of constructive strategic relations, based on partnership between two sides across various fields, and in the service of fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the African people and their friends in Russia.

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Abdelfattah ALSISI