Tracking Progress on Macroeconomic and Social Developments in the Eastern Africa Region

Given the difficult global context, the continued resilience of economic growth in the Eastern Africa region has been quite remarkable. But this strong performance has increasingly been accompanied by growing (and sometimes quite vocal) concerns over the quality of the growth – particularly the extent to which growth has been conducive to broad-based poverty reduction and employment creation. Across the region, there is evidence to support the idea that, despite a much improved economic performance in the 2000s after two decades of economic stagnation, a lot of social and economic aspirations have still not been fulfilled. One example of this is that, although USD 1.25-a-day poverty has been reduced in relative terms in the region (from 65 per cent of the population in 2000 to 54 per cent of the population in 2011), the absolute number of citizens living below the international poverty line has actually increased, from 155 million to 166 million over the same period.