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Coronavirus Already Affects African Economies

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Despite the very small number of people affected in sub-Saharan Africa by the coronavirus, the effects of the epidemic on African economies are already being felt. Trade with Asia, and China in particular, is starting to slow down.

Already in bad shape, the South African economy will suffer from the coronavirus. Agricultural exports to Asia should fall sharply, anticipate professionals in the sector. However, Asia represents a quarter of the country’s agricultural exports.

For its part, the diamond giant De Beers saw its last sales of precious stones fall by 35% due to the disaffection of Chinese customers.

In Cameroon, fish prices are starting to rise, the government having banned imports of Chinese fish for fear of the virus. Some countries say they fear shortages of motorcycles or spare parts due to the shutdown of Chinese factories.

Another direct consequence, African airlines could lose up to $ 400 million this year, due to the termination of connections to China.

Quarantine measures taken by countries like Gabon or Congo for ships and nationals of countries where the epidemic is raging, will also have repercussions on activity. As well as the cancellation in cascades of events like the CEO Forum of Abidjan.

Nigeria, for its part, fears that a collapse in oil prices – they have already lost 15% in recent weeks – will weigh on its public finances.

Read also: Africa is preparing to face the coronavirus

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