M a r k e t N e w s

EAC - 2015 global economic prospect report

Posted on : Tuesday, 27th January 2015

The World Bank says in its 2015 global economic prospect report that several low-income countries, including those in East Africa, may graduate to middle-income status on the back of substantial oil and gas discoveries.

“East Africa, in particular, has emerged as a “new frontier” for oil and gas in the past half-decade…newly discovered oil reserves in Uganda and Kenya have the potential of coming on-stream by the end of the decade,” notes the bank.
Currently the region’s exports are dominated by agricultural commodities, especially coffee and tea but that could change if oil production starts in Uganda and Kenya as well as gas in Tanzania. Uganda’s oil discovery is estimated at 2.5 billion barrels, according to the International Energy Agency; while Tullow, a major investor in Kenya’s oil, estimates the country’s reserves at above 600 million barrels.
Experts say that these deposits are enough to make the region ‘oil independent’ and exporter of petroleum products.
If that happens, the balance of trade will improve and oil and gas revenues will reduce fiscal deficits. Economists also say that good fiscal policies and prudent investment of the petro-dollars would greatly impact on the lives of the region’s poor through improved incomes and standards of living.
These benefits would not stop in Uganda and Kenya, but would also be felt in neigbouring countries such as Rwanda through regional integration projects.

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