- Tanzania and Rwanda are the only EAC member countries projected to record growth rates above four per cent during 2020.
Arusha. Tanzania will top the East African Community (EAC) partner states in economic growth this year.
Projections by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for 2020 indicate the country will record 5.5 per cent growth.
The positive growth would be sustained despite the outbreak of Covid-19 which impacted heavily on the key tourism sector.
Tanzania and Rwanda are the only EAC member countries projected to record growth rates above four per cent during 2020.
This was revealed here yesterday during a CEO Round Table organized by the East African Business Council (EABC).
"Covid-19 impact was earlier feared would be monumental,” said Ms Miriam Mwandosha, the manager in charge of SMEs with the regional business body.
However, she told business executives from the region and officials from other EAC- affiliated institutions that this was not entirely the case.
She said EAC states would record modest growth this year despite the pandemic but Tanzania and Rwanda would surpass four per cent.
"Tanzania economic growth is the highest and estimated to grow at 5.5 per cent in 2020", she told business executives at an Arusha hotel.
The Round Table focused on how the region could recover from the impact of Covid-19 which nearly brought down the economies due to travel restrictions.
It had been projected that the pandemic would cost the six EAC partner states between $37 billion to $79 billion in terms of output losses.
During the event business leaders in the region renewed their appeal to the governments to assist them overcome the impact of coronavirus.
Walter Maeda, the chairperson of the Arusha chapter of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) pleaded for relief to the private enterprises.
These, according to him, have to include scrapping or reducing some taxes and levies to enable companies recover from the dire effects.
"We also need the intervention of the banks. Some companies will definitely collapse or close down,” he pointed out.
Mr Maeda, who is the director of Golden Rose Hotel, said the tourism sector was much impacted because of the world -wide travel restrictions imposed.
EABC executive director Peter Mathuki lauded Tanzania for its decision to keep its economy open even at the height of Covid-19.
"The country's decision to keep the economy open has offered a major relief to the private sector in terms of business resilience", he said.
He added that Tanzania's position was in line with EABC Covid-19-related initiatives in an effort to sustain business operations, jobs and economic resilience.