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ADB president: Coronavirus effects will be felt in Africa long after it's passed

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina revealed that the bank will hold an emergency meeting next week to look at how to further support countries on the continent.

President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said the effects of the coronavirus on trade are devastating.

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, Adesina revealed that the bank will hold an emergency meeting next week to look at how to further support countries on the continent.

He is in South Africa to attend the African Leadership Persons Awards.

Adesina said the effects of the coronavirus will be felt on the continent long after it has passed.

"Supply chains are being destroyed - from agriculture to electronics to small parts for vehicles. China used to account for 1.5% of global trade, now they account for a third."

The bank was instrumental in the formation of the Africa Centres for Disease Contol.

"At the beginning of the crisis, no more than two countries could screen now, 46 countries have the ability. Preparedness is rising."

He said some of the preparedness assistance will be to build diagnostic capabilities, strengthening healthcare systems and providing basic supplies such as gloves and masks.