A $100 billion stimulus to address the fall out from the coronavirus in Africa

Dirk Willem te Velde, March 2020


Sub-Saharan Africa is facing at least a $100 billion balance of payment shortfall in 2020 compared with what was previously forecast. The coronavirus crisis is still unfolding, and impacts are only slowly becoming clearer. But there will be considerable declines in trade revenues and financial flows this year, as well as other effects. All of this needs detailed examination, and the effects will differ markedly by country. Previous ODI SET analysis has examined which countries are most at risk to a global slowdown. Estimates also face uncertainty depending on the spread of the coronavirus in Africa itself, and there is separate analysis ongoing.


At current oil price levels, net oil exports will fall by at least $35 billion (the costs are $30 billion following the halving of the oil price, but prices have dropped by more). Other exports (and imports) of goods and services will also decline. There will be other effects. International tourism revenues were some $35 billion in 2018, and most of this is at risk this year. Transport services are under threat (e.g. ships not docking in Mombasa). IATA estimates that African airlines lose $4.4 billion this year. Countries will be affected differently.

Photo: Dar Es Salaam Port, Tanzania. Rob Beechey /The World Bank. Licence: (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)