Published on February 08, 2018
The January 2018 edition of Global Economic Prospects (GEP) is a publication by the World Bank. It points out that, for the first time since the global financial crisis, all major regions of the world are experiencing an uptick in economic growth. The current, broad-based growth acceleration is a welcome trend and could be self-reinforcing.
On the other hand, stepping outside the frame of short-term forecasting, the GEP observes that growth in investment and in total factor productivity (TFP) has been declining over the past five years. Thanks to demographic trends, labor force growth has also been slowing in many parts of the world. This means that potential output (the amount the economy can produce if labor and capital were fully employed) would grow at a subdued pace in the future. The current demand-led recovery is likely to run up against supply constraints. The decline in TFP growth is particularly troubling since this has been a key source of rising living standards in many countries in the past.
Published on February 01, 2018
Microlinks Webinar Presentation is a presentation prepared by the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) for a webinar organized by USAID knowledge management platforms Microlinks and Agrilinks. It highlights the food crisis in East and southern Africa, but also stresses that the region has the ability to feed itself if food were allowed to move freely from surplus to deficit regions. It also provides information on The Hub and the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) trade facilitation forums that have been successful in promoting food security. In 2017, the USAID Hub and EAGC facilitated contracts for 1.2 million MT of staple grains for cross-border trade, supporting the food security of an estimated 14.4 million people.
Published on January 24, 2018
Natural Resources and Economic Growth in East Africa is an analytical brief published by the United States Agency for International Development, prepared by the Economic Analysis and Data Services Team. This brief provides an overview of the current state of natural resources in East Africa—with an analysis of energy, water, biodiversity, and climate change—and investments that U.S. foreign assistance has made in these areas. East Africa offers unique opportunities and challenges for the management of natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa. Although energy production and trade have lagged behind the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, East African countries hold considerable oil reserves and great potential for renewable energy including geothermal, hydro, solar, and wind.
Published on January 18, 2018
Economic Growth in East Africa is an analytical brief published by the United States Agency for International Development, prepared by the Economic Analysis and Data Services Team. This brief provides an overview of economic growth, trade, and agriculture in the East African countries of Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Somalia. According to the latest figures from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook, East Africa was the fastest growing economy in the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region in 2016. The East African economy grew by 4.5 percent in 2016 and is expected to increase by 7.3 percent in 2017 and 8.9 percent by 2022, not adjusting for inflation (IMF, 2017).
Read more here.
Published on January 11, 2018
Barriers to Women’s Economic Empowerment in East Africa is an analytical brief published by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), prepared by the Economic Analysis and Data Services Team. This brief discusses the financial, educational, and legal barriers that prevent women in the East African Community (EAC) from fully participating in the economic sphere.
It outlines the many challenges women in East Africa face to fully participating in their respective economies, which inhibits their financial independence and limits their ability to provide financially for themselves and their families. The brief concludes that while great strides have been made in improving the state of women in the financial, educational, and legal spheres, women still lag far behind the progress of men. Women in the EAC are consistently time poor, spending more time performing unpaid household chores and less time in productive activities, and fewer women have bank or mobile money accounts or borrow money than men.
Published on December 19, 2017
The Food Sustainability Index (FSI), developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit in partnership with the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, is a model designed to assess the sustainability of national food systems in a qualitative and quantitative manner. The FSI highlights best practices among different countries, establishes a comparable benchmark and measures progress over time.
The first edition of the FSI, published in 2016, ranked 25 countries according to their food system sustainability. In the 2017 edition The Economist Intelligence Unit is adding nine new countries—including seven from the wider Mediterranean region (Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia), plus Hungary and Sweden. The FSI’s ranking offers a benchmark against which the performance of countries can be monitored vis-à-vis the main challenges confronting the global food system.
Published on December 14, 2017
The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) issued a Communique on the Regional Grain Trade Facilitation Forum held in Kigali, Rwanda in November 2017. The forum brought together over 90 sellers and buyers of rice and other grain commodities from the Eastern and Southern Africa nations.
The objective of the Grain Trade Forum was to create a forum for networking among the grain stakeholders in the EAC region, with a focus on strengthening regional trade by creating market opportunities that offer enhanced opportunities for trade and investment and by engaging policy makers and private sector actors for reducing barriers to grain trade, thus simulating increased productivity and trade in the grain sector.
Published on December 14, 2017
The Human Face of Trade and Food Security is a publication of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in partnership with the New Markets Lab (NML). It explores the different dimensions of trade that contribute to food security including; better access to safe and nutritious food, improvements in productivity-increasing technology, availability of storage and transport services, and generation of diverse income streams for farmers, enterprises, and countries alike—examined through the lens of the policy and regulatory environment that shapes the market. In contrast to top-down policy discussions, the publication takes a bottom-up approach that follows the opportunities and challenges facing different stakeholders that include farmers, consumers, innovators, traders, and developed and developing countries, that are part of the global system for trade in food.
Published on November 30, 2017
Enabling the business of Agriculture Data Snapshot- Kenya is a brief featuring selected data on Kenya from the World Bank's Enabling the Business of Agriculture Index (EBA) 2017 report relevant to USAID's Feed the Future work. Kenya scores well in enabling access to seed, financial services, and ICT. Its water management policy framework is also extremely strong. Kenya performs relatively well in the areas of transport and access to machinery, but its fertilizer and market scores suggest room for improvement. Overall, Kenya provides a business-friendly environment for importing agricultural technologies and products, but could do more to ensure quality control once they enter the market.
EBA is a unique tool for measuring the ease of doing agribusiness. EBA score data, coupled with contextual analysis and consultations with key stakeholders, can inform priority reforms and allow for transparent result tracking over time and across countries. The index scores the strength of the legal and institutional environment for agribusinesses across eight topics: seed, fertilizer, machinery, finance, markets, transport, water, and ICT.
Published on November 16, 2017
EAC Industrial Competitiveness Report 2017 is a publication by the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat. It provides an overview of the region's industry and benchmarks the region's performance and capability against other regions. It provide a compass to policymakers, the private sector (in particular manufacturing associations), and a wider audience of stakeholders by offering an industrial development trajectory of the EAC as a whole and of the internal dynamics among Partner States.
It also analyzes progress towards the attainment of the goals set in the EAC Industrialisation Policy 2012-2032, and provides diagnostics of manufacturing sector performance in the EAC and individual Partner States.