Wolfgang Fengler, the lead economist for Kenya at the World Bank, writes in the excellent Africa Can .. End Poverty

Kenya could be the first EAC country to reach Middle Income status by 2020, but only if it achieves its potential of about 6 percent uninterrupted economic growth.  However, if Kenya’s economy only grows at 3.7 percent (the average of the last decade), the train will likely be overtaken by Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda in the next ten years. Middle income status would still be possible, but only by 2037.

Today, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have per-capita incomes of around US$ 550, substantially below Kenya’s.  If past trends continue, Kenya would still be ahead in 2020 but the gap would gradually narrow (see table) and by 2022, Rwanda would take first place soon followed by Tanzania and Uganda.


Today, the EAC [East African Community] is one of the fastest growing regions in the world.  If Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda maintain their ongoing growth momentum and if Kenya accelerates, all four countries will reach Middle Income status within the next ten years. For the first time since independence, sustainable development appears possible for East Africa, even for countries that started off from very difficult positions.

Here’s the full post. Interesting throughout.