May 11, 2011

Three EAC countries record promising economic growth

Members of the East African Community (EAC) are among the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa, and more broadly in the developing world, in recent years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. However, the region still lags behind the successful economies in terms of export growth and savings mobilisation. "Three countries in the EAC (Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda) were among the fastest growing economies in the world during 2005 to 2009," the IMF said in its Regional Economic Outlook launched in Dar es Salaam. In the rankings of the top-twenty fastest-growing countries in 2005-2009, Uganda ranks the sixth, Rwanda the ninth and Tanzania ranks at sixteenth. "With annual per capita growth averaging close to 4 per cent over the past 6 years, the EAC comes close to qualifying for a "growth acceleration" episode as defined in the economic literature," the report reads in part. Rwanda and Tanzania have expanded rapidly since the early 2000s (7.7 per cent per year in Rwanda and 6.8 per cent in Tanzania). Angola emerged the best performer with an average real GDP of 14.7 per cent during the same period.

According to the report, since 2005, these countries have been among the fastest growing economies in the world, with annual average GDP growth rates of close to 8 per cent--similar to other sub-Saharan African high performers like Mozambique. With strong output growth, per capita incomes in the region are catching up. Average real per capita GDP in the EAC reached $412 in 2009--close to the average of $420 for sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa and Nigeria)--although wide variations remain within the region, from $487 in Kenya to $115 in Burundi. (The Citizen)

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