Andrew Mold, Acting Director of UNECA in East Africa

Africa’s Fastest Growing Economic Region Revealed

By Abdi Ali
Published December 2, 2018

African-Continental-Free-Trade-Area-AfCFTA-signed-by-44-African-Countries-in-Rwanda.Eastern Africa is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world.


United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says the region not only registered an average growth rate of 6.7% between 2013 and 2017 – double the African average–but that it is expected to grow at 6.2% in 2019 due to what it says is a result of ‘sustained investment, renewed optimism in the Horn of Africa, and the opening up of new trade opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

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This impressive economic growth, UNECA says, has led to ‘people leading longer and healthier lives’.

Andrew Mold, Acting Director of UNECA in East AfricaAverage life expectancy, UNECA says, has increased by 5.3 years over the past decade, with countries like Kenya and Rwanda registering historically unprecedented gains of 8.5 years.

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Among the challenges the region faces are limited job opportunities for the rapidly growing population, the challenges are the impact of climate change on agricultural production, rising levels of debt in some countries, and peace and security concerns, said Andrew Mold, the Acting Director of UNECA in Eastern Africa during the 22nd meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE).

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East African Community brings together six countries.The three-day meeting, that was held in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, Rwanda, brought together more than 250 economic stakeholders and decision-makers of 14 countries in eastern Africa.

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Saying that the spectre of trade wars and moderating global demand could impact on eastern Africa’s impressive growth. UNECA urges African countries to focus their attention on what it refers to as ‘more resilient and dynamic regional trading relations’.

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