UN East Africa Commission for COVID-19 to meet

The 24th meeting of the UN East Africa Commission’s Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE) is set to

Photo: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty

The 24th meeting of the UN East Africa Commission’s Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE) is set to commence virtually today.

The committee, which seats representatives from 14 countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, is prepared to discuss the regional economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and policy pathways toward recovery. The pandemic’s effect on the region’s economic activity was not as calamitous as some analysts had expected. Exports rebounded in Kenya and Tanzania after the gradual re-opening of the global economy this May, indicating the potential for recovery.

However, at present East Africa is facing a significant downturn. Thus, expect the committee to discuss measures to keep intra-regional trade flowing, especially in the informal market, which employs large portions of the workforce. Concerns about attracting foreign direct investment will also come to the fore since governments have little fiscal room to manoeuvre.

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