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Overview of East Africa (1)

East Africa (EA) is part of the Sub-Saharan Africa, and consists for the purpose of our association of 6 States: The Republic of Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, South Sudan, the Republic of Burundi

EA, with a land area of 2.5 million square kilometers, is home to 445,406,000 people, of which over 28.5% is urban population. The population density in EA is 66.8 per km2 and its forests cover 32.6% of total land area.  With an annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 6%, the GDP of EA countries for 2020 have reached to US$ 393669 million. (2)

Figure I  EA: total population (3)

Due to the poor sanitation and a lack of food, the mortality rate in EA is significantly high. According to United nations (UN), the mortality rate in children under 5 years in EA is approximately 5%, which is 25% higher than the world average level (4%).

Figure II  EA: Mortality rate under age 5

Economic Trend

Among those countries, Kenya was the richest in East Africa with US$1710.5 income per capita in 2020, which already past the international middle-income threshold of US$1036. What’s more, even the economy at the global level has been hit seriously by COVID-19, Kenya’s economy growth remains robust. Followed by Kenya, Tanzania with US$1044.1 per capita caught up fast. Next to Tanzania were Rwanda with US$747.7 per capita and Uganda with US$704.4 per capita and finally Burundi has the lowest GDP per capita, which is only US$294.  

Overall, though there is slight fluctuation during the last decades, the economy in EA countries shows an upward trend, except the South Sudan. Due to the unstable political environment and conflicts, the economy of South Sudan has been destroyed.

Figure III    EA countries GDP Per capita trend during 1960-2019


As references for these overview served

  • (WHO)World malaria report 2020

  • (WHO)HIV country profile 2019

  • (UNdata)Country profile2020

  • (Worldbank)GPD per capital 2019

  • (Worldbank)literacy rate2019

  • (Globalreligionfuture)religion file2010

  • (UNdata)percentage of population country file

  • (Nationmaster)Ethnic groups


Source: based on data of 2020 from UNdata (


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