EDITORIAL: Regional cooperation will accelerate economic growth

Thursday November 7 2019

Economy in Eastern Africa has been growing at an encouraging pace, this is according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The 2019 report shows a growth rate of 6.4 per cent, despite some major risks ahead.

Let’s take a moment to focus on those risks, which in effect might be the bane for a promising economic performance in Eastern Africa.

Experts at the 23rd meeting of the intergovernmental committee of senior officials say the countries found in the Eastern part of Africa should focus on regional cooperation to accelerate their economies.

Cross border problems affecting the region need a cross-border answer, asserts Mr Andrew Mold, the acting director for the ECA in East Africa.

This, thus shows that despite regional integration, more needs to be done on the economic front to see an improvement in individual economies, which will inevitably lead to overall growth as a region.

With 14 nations forming part of Eastern Africa, there is a lot of potential for better economic performance.

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From bilateral to multilateral trade, the scope of cross-border economic engagement is prodigious.

With countries such as Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda spearheading regional economic growth, resources and other revenue-generating avenues should be utilized to foster not only national growth, but growth beyond national borders.

Another problem which was highlighted as curtailing further growth, is climate change.

Again, concerted efforts from all states found in the horn of Africa pose a more realistic approach towards dealing with this problem. No country should act in isolation to combat climate change.

Climate change affects the most vital sector which is inherent in the economic growth for most African countries – agriculture.

If climate change is combated, more agricultural produce will be yielded, and thus an improvement in trade of agricultural produce among member states of the East African region and beyond. Let us all work together to spearhead this economic growth.