East African Economies Show Resilience Amid Covid, AfDB Says

Thirteen East African economies are projected to collectively expand by 4.1% in 2021 from 0.4% last year, supported by a global recovery, according to an African Development Bank report, Bloomberg News reported. East Africa is the only region on the continent to have avoided a recession in 2020, thanks to agriculture, sustained public spending on large infrastructure projects, and increased regional economic integration, according to an AfDB report published on Thursday. The lender reviewed the performance of 13 economies: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. All 13 economies are projected to record growth in 2021, with Kenya expected to post the highest at 6.3%. Expansion in the region is expected to accelerate to 4.9% in 2022 and 5.6% the following year on account of rising commodity prices and growing economic diversification, according to the report. The slow roll out of Covid-19 vaccines and risks of spikes in infections could dampen that outlook, according to the study. The coronavirus pandemic could also hold back progress on slashing poverty in the region, after 12.3 million people, or 3.4% of the 2019 population, slid into extreme poverty, it said. Read more.