NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The African Development Bank (AfDB) said on
Friday it has approved a five-year regional strategy to
accelerate transformation of Eastern Africa region.
The bank said the
East Africa Regional Integration Strategy Paper (RISP) lays out
a roadmap for speeding up regional integration of 13 Eastern
Africa countries with regional infrastructure development among
the main pillars of the plan.
AfDB’s deputy director general for East Africa, said the
strategy sets the framework for the Bank to support key economic
sectors like regional energy and transport, which will underpin
Eastern Africa’s transformation.
African countries depend on agricultural and mineral products
for their exports. But most of these products are of low-level
sophistication and low value-added,” Nwabufo said in a
statement, adding this is why the Strategy Paper is key to
boosting industrialization and intra-regional trade.
She said the
strategy will guide the bank’s regional operations in countries
including Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.
The strategy maps
out the direction of the bank’s regional integration work in
Eastern Africa over the next five years, said AfDB.
It said the main
objectives are fast-tracking structural transformation,
increasing trade and promoting financial sector integration and
“The strategy is
focused on two mutually reinforcing pillars namely regional
infrastructure development for competitiveness and
transformation, and strengthening of policy and institutional
frameworks for market integration, growing investments and value
chains development,” said the bank.
According to AfDB,
Eastern Africa is the fastest growing region in Africa.
However, it said
countries in the region are grappling with poor infrastructure
including power shortages, low electricity connection rates and
high cost of electricity for manufacturing enterprises.
The bank said it
will work closely with regional member countries and
institutions in following up on implementation progress.