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Africa’s Long-term Growth Prospects Remain Intact as Economies Display Their Resilience

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Many African economies are proving their resilience in the face of the humanitarian and economic crisis brought on by Covid-19. Standard Bank expects East Africa’s economy to grow by 2.2% this year, thanks in part to the regional powerhouse of Kenya. While that would be a marked slowdown from the 6.2% growth rate achieved in 2019, the fact that the region is expected to grow in the face of a deep global recession highlights the progress these economies have made. Further, the region’s growth comes despite major disruptions to some of its biggest industries, including tourism, horticulture, and foreign remittances; combined with the largest locust invasion and severe floods. Horticultural exports have fallen sharply amid the breakdown in global supply chains, the once-flourishing tourism sector is not expected to recover any time soon, and foreign remittances have been impacted by loss of employment abroad. East African economies are benefiting from their relatively strong intra-regional links, their diversified economies, and speedy interventions by central banks in the early days of the crisis – policy interest rates were cut and steps were taken to improve liquidity.


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