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Even Before Coronavirus Makes it to Africa, The Economic Impact is Already Being Felt

The Novel Coronavirus has yet to make landfall in Africa, but it’s already starting to cause real economic damage to a number of economies across the continent. Africa’s commodity-exporting countries have become increasingly dependent on robust Chinese demand over the past 10-15 years and now that economic growth in China is dramatically slowing down due to the ongoing health crisis there, the prices of raw materials are falling, precipitously in some cases.

“The longer the virus holds down Chinese growth, the worse for Africa’s commodity exporters from Zambia [copper] to Angola [oil],” said Charles Robertson, Moscow-based investment bank Renaissance Capital’s global chief economist and an emerging markets analyst in an interview with the South China Morning Post newspaper.

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