East Africa’s Robust Economic Growth Continues

The East African economy continued its impressive growth rate trend with an average of 6 per cent growth in 2011. The World Bank’s growth forecast for the 2012-13 period is 5.9 per cent, continuing the strong growth the region has achieved over the past six years.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also projects acceleration in the region’s growth rate to 6.4 per cent in 2014 driven by Rwanda and Tanzania, the two countries that have delivered higher growth rates than their neighbours since 2010.

Uganda’s economy had a difficult year as its growth slowed down 6.5 per cent in 2011 to 2.6 percent in 2012, driven by efforts to stabilize inflation, high interest rates and uncertainty as donors announced they were suspending aid to Uganda following alleged mismanagement of funds.

Trends in East Africa’s per capita income
Although East Africa’s economic growth rates are strong, the income per capita data shows the significant differences between the countries. Burundi remained the poorest economy in this respect with a per capita GDP of $271 in 2011 compared to Kenya’s $808, Rwanda’s $583 and Tanzania’s $532. Uganda’s income per capita fell below $500 in 2011.