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COVID-19 pushing Africa's leading economies to poverty

Survey in Ivory Coast, DRC, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, S.Africa shows pandemic is leading cause of rising unemployment

Andrew Wasike   | 17.05.2021
COVID-19 pushing Africa's leading economies to poverty


A six-nation survey by GeoPoll released in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Monday shows that Africa's leading economies are sliding back into poverty due to the financial and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The poll conducted among people from the Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa found that COVID-19 was a leading cause of rising unemployment.

Scott Lansell from GeoPoll, a real-time mobile survey platform, noted that from the 2,400 respondents "the picture that emerges is of a further sharp deterioration in the financial position of many individual Africans in the first quarter of 2021."

The survey found that young people were the hardest hit, with 66% of those surveyed between the ages 18 and 25 in Kenya reported that they had suffered sharp drops in their income during the first quarter of this year.

In South Africa, which has suffered the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the continent, 33% of respondents did not see things getting back to normal until next year.

GeoPoll's report said unemployment rates remained high across the six nations, particularly for women, who experienced outsized effects of COVID-19 in many areas, including jobs, income, gender-based violence, and education.

Despite the difficulty faced over the past year, the report showed that most respondents approved of their government's response to the virus outbreak.

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