Exports from most of the East African Community (EAC) member states recovered to the pre-Covid-19 levels by the third quarter of 2020, a United Nations report released said.
The report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) noted that aggregate exports from the region declined to their lowest value in April 2020 but they started recovering in the ensuing months, the Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.
“In fact, in the third quarter of 2020, most of the EAC partner states’ exports surpassed their 2019 levels,” said the report that was developed jointly with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).
The EAC partner states include Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The report which was virtually launched in Nairobi focuses on providing an analysis of the region’s merchandise trade performance during this unprecedented period of disruption to global commerce.
Anthony Mveyange, director of research and learning at TMEA noted that a number of factors fueled the resurgence of exports.
Mveyange said that Kenya experienced an increase in exports of manufactured products, especially in the industrial supplies and capital equipment sectors.
He observed that Tanzania and the other landlocked countries in East Africa also witnessed a jump in processed and gold exports.
“Thus the recovery in the regional exports does not hinge purely on mineral exports,” he added.
The findings indicate that imports into the trading bloc have also rebounded rapidly from the initial precipitous declines.
The study also shows that intra-EAC trade exhibited greater resilience than the extra-EAC trade.