By EA Trade Review Reporter

African economies will continue to expand at a moderately rapid pace despite weaker than expected global growth and stable or declining commodity prices, says the World Bank.

In a new Africa’s Pulse, a twice-yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects, the bank projects regional GDP growth to strengthen to 5.2 per cent yearly in 2015-16 from 4.6 per cent in 2014.

The report says significant public investment in infrastructure, increased agricultural production and expanding services in African retail, telecoms, transportation, and finance, are expected to continue to boost growth in the region.

This pick-up in growth is expected to occur in a context of lower commodity prices and lower foreign direct investment as a result of subdued global economic conditions.

 

By Betty Maina

As I write this, I am saddened. October is here and with it the end of a trade arrangement between Kenya and Europe that has lasted more than 30 years.

This was made possible under a trade deal extended to Kenya in the context of the preferential trade arrangement the EU extended to the African Caribbean Countries, first under four successive Lome Conventions (Lome I to IV– 1975 to 1999) and under the Cotonou Agreement trade regime (2000–2007).

Kenya, with other EAC countries, secured the continuation of duty-free market access to the European Union after initialing the Framework for Establishment of Economic Partnership Agreement (FEPA) in 2007.

 

By Fridah Nkibugah

The World Bank has warned that the three West African states worst affected by Ebola virus could plunge into an economic crisis if the epidemic is no contained.

An analysis of the Ebola epidemic by the bank released Wednesday finds that if the virus continues to surge in the three worst affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the economic impact could grow eight-fold, dealing a potentially catastrophic blow to the already fragile states.

However, the analysis finds that economic costs can be limited if swift national and international responses succeed in containing the epidemic and mitigating “aversion behavior” – a fear factor resulting from peoples’ concerns about contagion, which is fueling the economic impact.

 

By EA Trade Review Reporter

The World Bank Group has approved a $105 million grant to finance Ebola-containment efforts underway in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

According to the bank, the funds will help families and communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and rebuild and strengthen essential public health systems in the three worst-affected countries to guard against future disease outbreaks.

The new grant is part of the $200 million Ebola emergency mobilization first announced by the WBG in early August.

The WBG said that its new Ebola Emergency Response project will mobilize $52 million for Liberia, the country with the highest number of Ebola infections, $28 million for Sierra Leone, and $25 million for Guinea.

 

By Agencies

Kenya is optimistic that the East African Community (EAC) can sign the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union within the next two weeks.

The trading bloc has until September 30 to sign the deal or lose the preferential export market access its partner states have enjoyed for decades.

However, Kenya is under intense pressure to meet the October 1 deadline for the signing of the long-term trade treaty because it does not enjoy market access given to all poor countries under the Everything-But-Arms (EBA) affirmative clause.

Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are all classified by as poor countries and will therefore continue to enjoy market access under EBA. They will however lose out on other benefits envisioned under the EPAs treaty.

 

By Fridah Nkibugah


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the East African Community (EAC) have launched a collaborative programme to improve the compilation and dissemination of government finance statistics.

The programme involves all the five EAC partner states, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The inaugural workshop was held in Arusha, Tanzania, from August 25-29.

The workshop provided an opportunity for statisticians and economists from the EAC region to identify the needs for technical assistance (TA) to strengthen GFS to be provided by the IMF.

The program will assist the EAC Partner States to meet the fiscal data requirements associated with the East African Community Monetary Union (EAMU) protocol, signed by EAC Heads of State in November 2013.

Dr Enos Bukuku, EAC Deputy Secretary in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, welcomed the opportunity to host the workshop and launch the GFS programme.

“The intervention is timely in facilitating production of robust statistical data required for the establishment of EAMU and transition to EAC single currency by 2024,” said Dr Bukuku.

 

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