Via allAfrica.com, a report from Reuters AlertNet: Ebola Prompts Investor Exodus From Guinea, Could Threaten Economy. Excerpt:
Conakry — In Guinea, whose government has been struggling to contain a deadly Ebola outbreak since earlier this year, fear and panic are leading foreign investors to leave the country and local workers are staying at home, threatening to bring the economy to a standstill.
A total of 98 people are thought to have died from the disease in Guinea and 10 in neighbouring Liberia, according to aid workers and governments. There are 20 suspected cases in the Guinean capital Conakry.
"Ebola is very bad for business," said Cheick Fanta Mady Camara, Secretary General for the Guinea Chamber of Commerce. "Trade is based on the exchange of goods and ideas, but people are too scared to shake hands, or leave their homes."
Since Senegalese singer/politician Youssou N'dour cancelled his Conakry concert last Saturday, flights leaving the city have been full, while incoming flights have been almost empty, according to an airline employee at Gbessia airport.
One outgoing Brussels Airlines flight carried 200 passengers last week, while the incoming flight carried just 55 people, according to passenger flight lists seen by Thomson Reuters Foundation.
In Conakry, normally a bustling city of two million people, hotels, guesthouses and restaurants - formerly full of mining executives looking for opportunities in Africa - now lie empty, some without a single booking for weeks ahead, hotel staff say.
The luxury Palm Camayenne Hotel, popular among businessmen and politicians, is running at less than one third of occupancy and aid workers have replaced businessmen as its guests, according to a receptionist.
But World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesman in Guinea Tarik Jasarevic said Red Cross visits to schools, a televised speech by President Alpha Conde, and WHO posters were helping to restore calm to the city.
"I haven't seen panic at all in Conakry, although I can't speak for other places. People are worried of course, for good reason," Jasarevic told Thomson Reuters Foundation.