Macroeconomic & Social Developments in Eastern Africa 2018
This report provides an overview of the key macroeconomic and social developments in Eastern Africa in recent years. With the aim of setting the scene for more in-depth policy discussion, it has also reviewed the major structural changes in the regional economies over the past 10 to 15 years. Countries have been benchmarked against the average regional performance, highlighting their main achievements, challenges and opportunities for future growth and development. Where relevant, examples of different policy initiatives have been discussed to promote peer-learning.
Eastern Africa is still growing at a healthy pace compared with the rest of Africa, principally due to the robust growth of the construction sector and parts of the services sector (particularly transport and finance). However, the economic performance of Eastern Africa has weakened during the last two years, principally due to drought, a decline in commodity prices, and (in some cases) growing political instability and/or civil confliict. In addition, the region has had to confront numerous humanitarian crises. We have also stressed the importance of policymakers addressing several emerging social problems to mitigate their negative impacts, such as high levels of alcohol abuse, road traffic deaths and low survival rates from chronic diseases like cancer.