The region would be a good place to start for those seeking new markets post-Covid
Although tourism is hitting the region hard, East Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing areas with a 2021 growth rebound of 4.8% predicted by the IMF. There are deep-seated reasons for that, which include the end of conflicts in certain countries and strong state investments in physical and social infrastructure. Life expectancy at birth in East Africa has risen by almost seven years over the past decade.
The structure of East Africa’s economies may also play a role in its resilience, argues Andrew Mold, who is in charge of the East Africa office of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Households in the region tend to be rural and focused on agriculture, a resilient sector. The price of commodities like oil has been slashed, which has eased East African countries’ import bills, too.
The region’s investment has also increased from $152.7 million to $724.6 million while the number of projects that these investments support also increased by 23.3%. Taking full advantage of the high investment flow in the region, the East African Community (EAC) incentivized development in related markets. The six-member countries of the EAC account for a sizable market of consumers for agricultural raw materials and other extracted goods.
The aim is to grow the contribution of manufacturing to the region’s GDP from an estimated 8.9% currently to 25% by 2032. Africa is expected to maintain stable positive economic growth. The economic growth in East Africa is positively contributing to development in Africa overall.