Pandemic Pushes 55m Africans into Poverty; Ethiopia, Nigeria Top List: UN


Pandemic Pushes 55m Africans into Poverty; Ethiopia, Nigeria Top List: UN

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed an estimated 55 million Africans into poverty, with Ethiopia and Nigeria the major sources for the "new poor" created over the past two years, according to the annual economic report on Africa published by the UN. The report reveals that African governments spent 2.2 billion dollars on fiscal stimulus in 2020, with overall fiscal spending doubling to 3.3pc of gross domestic product (GDP). It warns the continent's debt-to-GDP ratio will remain above the 60pc threshold the IMF considers sustainable. Three African countries – Ethiopia, Chad and Zambia – have applied for debt relief under the G-20 common framework. There has yet to be a concrete decision on Ethiopia's request. Data obtained from the World Bank reveals interest and principal payments on external debt of 2.2 billion dollars are due in 2022. The situation is more daunting in the face of a costly war in the north, which the federal government says has caused 40 billion Br in losses due to a "decline in economic activity." The war in Ukraine is exacerbating challenges, with global prices for wheat, petroleum, cooking oil, and fertiliser spiking to record highs since fighting broke out in Eastern Europe earlier this year.


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BRIDG-EATERIA

They say, "Where there is traffic, there is business." It reflects the colour of Addis Abeba roads and roundabouts. Around Bole, commonly known as the Ring Road, vendors serve tea and snacks underneath a bridge. Owing to these selling methods allow pedestrians and drivers to get the service they need while walking and driving. Despite that, such practice has become a frequent encounter in the heart of the city streets. The most common purpose of a ring road is to reduce traffic volumes in the ur...


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WALKWAY DISPLAY

Pedestrian walkways around Addis Abeba are growing smaller by the day, competing to gain a foothold in the public spaces. The city, which prides itself as Africa's political and diplomatic capital, becomes a showcase of contrast. Beauty and affluence wrestle destitution and poverty to claim space. Vendors have displayed their second-hand outfits, shoes and luggage for sale on a roundabout in front of the Ministry of Education, up at the Arat Kilo area...


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TRAILER HOMES

Retired city buses were once converted to bakery outlets retailing bread supplied by ‘Sheger Bakery' during their twilight zone. The city administration had used Anbessa City buses as its retail shops before formal outlets replaced them. Sheger Bakery, touted as the largest bakery and flour factory with the potential of baking two million loaves of bread daily, was to cater for millions of people in Addis Abeba with a subsidized bread supply but failed to live up to expectations. The old city...