Editor-in-chief Emeritus of Bloomberg News, Matthew Winkler has said that the African economy has suffered less than the world economy despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Winkler made this known Tuesday during his presentation at a webinar organised by Bloomberg Media Initiative for Africa (BMIA) for its Alumni groups across Africa.
During the webinar that attracted participants from across Africa for journalists who had gone through the BMIA training on Financial Journalism, the facilitator also said that when compared to COVID-19 cases in America, Africa is isolated from the global pandemic with lower figure.
In his presentation, he said infection rate in the US is 46 times greater than what is recorded so far in Africa which makes the continent safer than the rest of the world.
He also showed with records that six of the top 10 growth economies are in Africa. The countries include Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Uganda, Egypt and Ghana.
Talking about the performing sectors of the economy despite the pandemic, the Editor Emeritus said, “With available data, telecoms is the business that is doing the best.”
The co-author of The Bloomberg Way; a training manual for financial journalists, Winkler however forecasts a bright future for Africa in the post COVID-19 era.
Meanwhile, the worst hit sector is the aviation industry since flight operations have been suspended to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
According to Winkler, “Business travel is constrained. There is big money in business travel and if the business sector is weak, it must affect the aviation industry like it is doing now.”
Meanwhile, hope is not lost as the American journalist reminded the participants that Africa is still a destination to a lot of people around the world. “So I’ll expect the aviation industry in Africa will have a rebound once the pandemic is over.”
He also noted that the demography in Africa is showing that the African population is younger than people anywhere in the world. “The only way where you get growth is in demand and what is going to drive demand is the people and that is why you see investors go wherever there is a rise and that is not going to change because more young people are consumers,” he said.
Still talking on the telecommunication industry, Winkler said, “It won’t be surprising that so many people will be dependent on telecommunication,” which is a major factor why the sector is doing better.
He however noted with available data that, “Telecommunication industry in Africa is encouraging than it has ever been and that has not changed.”
Sponsored by former Mayor of New York city, Michael Bloomberg, the Bloomberg Media Initiative for Africa has trained hundreds of journalists in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Zambia between 2015 and 2018.