Eastern Africa experts discuss COVID-19 economic impacts in Kigali

Experts assembled in Kigali, Rwanda to reflect on COVID-19 economic impacts and resilience experiences at the sub-continental 25th meeting of the intergovernmental committee of senior offcials and experts in Eastern Africa.

Opened this morning under the theme, “Strengthening resilience for strong recovery and attracting investments to foster economic diversification and long term growth in Eastern Africa”, the participants will discuss internal resource mobilization, and attracting investments, among others, according to the organizer of the annual meeting – the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Rwanda Office.

Over the coming days the participants of the meeting are expected to discuss and share experiences of their country on how their economies have been doing in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic since the outbreak. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, East Africa was one of the fastest growing sub region in Africa and the world.

Though East Africa region is the least impacted region in Africa or the world by COVID-19, the 14 countries in the sub-region have went through several economic and social challanges because of the pandemic.

It is indicated that although the region’s economic recovery is already underway, with growth projected of 3.1 per cent for 2021, the prospects are currently subdued for returning to the region’s previous high growth path.

The ministers of the Eastern African countries have indicated that they have taken different measures which involves support to the private sector, flexibility for tax payers engaged in some sectors like health and tourism sectors, as well as special support to small and micro-enterprises, and repurposing manufacturing plants among others.

The representatives of the 14 member states of Eastern African countries attending the 25th annual meeting in Kigali are Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.