Ebola Virus Eats Into West Africa’s Economic Growth

Written by Kevin Mwanza

The Ebola Epidemic in West Africa is hurting some of the world’s fastest growing economies by grinding key sectors including informal businesses, tourism  and transport to a halt. The Ebola virus is quickly eating into staler growth projections in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria by making it expensive to do business in these countries and keeping customers and tourists away.

Sierra Leone, for example, was forecast to grow its GDP by up to 11.3 percent this year. But the Ebola outbreak could cut these numbers to as low as 7 percent.

“The Economy was projected to grow by 11.3 percent in 2014. That is very difficult now to achieve. The best we could do is between maybe 7-8 percent or at most 9 percent,” Alimamy Bangura, Sierra Leone Economic Policy Unit Director, told CCTV Africa.

“Tourism is a fast growing sector in Sierra Leone but because of the Ebola out outbreak tourists are now scared away. Most of the hotel occupancy are very low now. Most of the restaurants are not doing good business.”

Several airlines have also suspended flights to these countries, making it even harder to transact international business.

The World Health Organization is encouraged by one patient in Nigeria making a full recovery and no new cases have been diagnosed there in the past few days. But it warns this global health emergency is still not under control.

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