Ebola Will Have Minimal Effect On Africa’s Economy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the Ebola outbreak will have minimal effect on the overall economy of Africa.

An IMF statement quoted Ms Antoinette Sayeh, IMF Director, African Department, as saying this on Thursday in Harare during a press conference on the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa.

The statement obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Sayeh as saying that the disease would substantially impair the economy of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

“The Ebola virus will have minimal impact on the overall economic growth of the continent, the three most affected countries account for only one per cent of Africa’s GDP.

“This is unlikely to disrupt the overall growth of the continent which is expected to rise from five per cent in 2014 to 5.8 per cent in 2015,’’ she was quoted as saying.

The statement further quoted the IMF official as saying that the Fund took cognisance of the potential impact of the Ebola virus before making its forecast.

“If the epidemic is contained by June 2015, the IMF estimates that the savings from Liberia and Sierra Leone should shrink by about four per cent and 1.5 per cent for Guinea.

“Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will still experience economic growth in 2014, but not as much as they expected,” the statement quoted Sayeh as saying.

Ebola fever, a contagious disease whose cure has yet to be discovered, appeared for the first time in a northern town of former Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1976.

World Health Organisation reports say the disease, which resurfaced in Guinea in March 2014, had spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone resulting in no fewer than 4,877 deaths since then. (NAN)

Source : Leadership

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