AU Report: East Africa economy more resilient than other regions

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Skyline of Addis Ababa

The East African region has enjoyed a more resilient economic growth as compared to other parts of the continent over the past few decades, revealed a report released by the African Union (AU) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Center.

Africa’s Development Dynamics 2018, which was released on Wednesday at AU’s headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, indicated mixed performances of different African regions in terms of growth, jobs and inequalities.

According to the report, the East African region has enjoyed stronger and more resilient economic growth than the other regions of the continent, at over 4 percent annually since 1990. The report also noted East Africa’s economic trajectory as a “more diversified economy.”

The first edition of Africa’s Development Dynamics report on Wednesday also revealed that the East African region had managed to reduce extreme poverty by 23 percent between the year 1990 and 2013, followed by West Africa which is able to reduce poverty level by 12 percent during the reported period.

The report, however, indicated the major challenges witnessed in other parts of the continent, including the Central African region, where the number of jobs in the formal economy has been falling since 2015.

It also revealed that inequality in Africa is most prevalent in Southern Africa, which in terms of income contains six out of the ten most unequal countries in the world.

In addition to the underemployment and vulnerable employment that characterize most of the African labor markets, some countries in North and Southern Africa face high structural employment, according to the report.

The report also commended some African countries for their strategic partnership with China and other emerging economies.

“The decision by certain countries to increase investment in infrastructure and the growing number of commercial partnerships – with China, India and other emerging countries – have also proved judicious,” the report indicated.

The report, among other things, revealed that favorable trend in commodities prices, strong domestic demand, progress in the pursuit of macroeconomic policies and strategies to diversify national economies have been major drivers of the continent’s recent growth, which is forecast to reach 4 percent annually between 2018 and 2020.

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