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War in Ukraine Puts Africa at Risk of Stagflation, Debt Distress

  • Continent’s economy expected to grow 4.1% this year, AfDB says
  • Pandemic, war push millions more Africans into extreme poverty
A boy sits in front of a damaged building after a strike in Kramatorsk, in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, on May 25. 

A boy sits in front of a damaged building after a strike in Kramatorsk, in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, on May 25. 

Photographer: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Africa risks sliding into stagflation, a prolonged period of slow economic growth accompanied by high inflation, as price pressures and supply-chain disruptions emanating from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stifle output, according to the African Development Bank. 

The continent’s real gross domestic product is projected to expand by 4.1% in 2022, down from 6.9% last year, when it bounced back strongly from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Abidjan, Ivory Coast-based lender said in its African Economic Outlook report published on Wednesday. It sees the growth rate at about 4% in 2023 if the conflict persists.