The European Business Council for Africa

Date: Wednesday, 2 February 2022 12:30 - 14:30 (London)

The impact of Covid-19 throughout 2021 has seen East Africa dealing with containment measures and global supply and demand disruptions, which have hit businesses and livelihoods hard.

Looking forward to 2022, the region’s economic outlook looks bullish, according to a recent African Development Bank report. The 13 countries that make up East Africa are projected to show an average growth of 4.9%, up from 0.4% posted in 2020. This is driven by sustained public spending on infrastructure, improved performance of the agricultural sector, a shift towards a more service-orientated economy and deepening regional economic integration.

There are issues, however, that could dampen that outlook, such as the slow rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and spikes in infections. Regional banking regulators have raised concerns in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda over the rise of bad loans, which is now threatening the health of financial sectors across the region.

The political picture in East Africa is mixed. For example, low levels of corruption and relative political stability in Kenya and Rwanda have allowed for increased foreign investment, although Kenya’s general election in August 2022 could be a flashpoint for unrest. Civil war in Ethiopia threatens the stability of the Horn of Africa and countries such as Somalia and Sudan remain volatile with increased political and economic instability.

Will the region reach its projected full recovery by 2023? How will the region’s powerhouses harness economic diversification and rising commodity prices to achieve economic growth in 2022? What will be the knock-on effects of the Ethiopian civil war on political stability across the region?

Invest Africa, in partnership with Stephenson Harwood and the East African Association, invites you to join the discussion as we examine some of these key questions from investors operating across the region in our annual economic and political outlook for East Africa.

Discussion points:

- How will East Africa governments tackle a rising debt crisis?

- How will the growth gap between countries be reduced?

- What sectors will show the most growth in the region?


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