The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented economic and social disruption globally. In Eastern Africa, the pandemic threatens the region's recent economic and social progress, registering its first economic recession since 1992, with GDP growth estimated to have contracted by 0.7 per cent in 2020, after expanding by an impressive 6.5 per cent in 2019.
Although the region’s economic recovery is already underway, with growth projected of 3.1 per cent for 2021, the prospects are currently subdued for returning to the region’s previous high growth path.
To help Eastern African governments improve long term growth and job creation prospects in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, the Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (SRO-EA), through its Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE) will organize the meeting to focus on building resilience and attracting investments.
Each year, SRO-EA convenes the ICSOE, a statutory meeting discussing emerging issues as well as opportunities and challenges to fast-track the development process of the sub-region. The ICSOE is a platform for agenda setting, discussion of issues of regional economic interest as well as experience-sharing. The 25th edition of the ICSOE will reflect on the theme: “Strengthening resilience for a strong recovery and attracting investments to foster economic diversification and long-term growth in Eastern Africa”.