When what many consider the worst economic crisis since the 1930s Great Depression erupted last year in the West, analysts initially believed Africa had a chance of weathering the financial storm with only a few scratches.
African banks invested little in the so-called "toxic" assets that sparked the crisis, shielding the continent from the credit crunch.
But with no hope of recovery from the global downturn before 2010, a bitter cocktail of dwindling remittances, shrinking export markets and looming investment cuts is threatening to poison the world's poorest continent.
Presenting a study last week in Washington, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn painted a bleak picture of Africa's immediate future.
"After hitting first the industrial countries and then emerging markets, a third wave of the global financial crisis is now hitting the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries, and hitting them hard," he said.