Following the easing of lockdown restrictions in East Africa, regional economies have worked hard to make up lost ground and repair the economic damage wrought by the pandemic. The past year has been marked by a concerted effort at recovery.
However, as East Africa’s economic engine kicks back into gear, the vital task of looking beyond immediate recovery toward longer-term economic growth and prosperity takes centre stage.
Today, the urgent question is: what investments into new tools, technologies and policies can be made now to build a stronger and more equitable regional economy in the decade ahead?
I would argue that the region could benefit most from investments into youth skills development, the adoption of cloud technologies to unlock market expansion opportunities, and focused attention on the agricultural sector, which is critical to both employment and food security across East Africa.
Activating the youth skills pool
Africa’s abundant and growing youth population has been widely discussed as an opportunity for the continent to drive the world’s economic engine in the decades ahead. With populations in much of the developed world expected to decline during the 21st century, Africa’s surplus of youthful talent could play a vital role in preventing a skills shortage and ensuring ongoing economic growth.