EADB has been at the forefront of regional development initiatives over the last four decades. While progress has been made, with increasing macroeconomic and government stability, a favourable business environment and strong institutions within the region, important bottlenecks remain. For instance the EAC member states are noted to have a low exports, lower degree of financial deepening, lower levels of domestic savings, higher reliance on donor aid, limited physical infrastructure and human capital.
Member states of the EAC have rightly prioritised infrastructure development in order to help spur regional trade and integration. EADB has for long been involved in resource mobilisation initiatives which have helped finance key infrastructure projects within the region. Owing to the massive resources required, individual countries may lack the scale or expertise required to mobilise sufficient resources for infrastructure initiatives such as trade corridors, transport networks, water resources management as well as development of massive energy projects and telecommunications connectivity. EADB works with development partners to help initiate, structure and support these initiatives.
The scaled up regional integration efforts that started off with the signing of the EAC treaty in 1999, followed by the East African Customs Union Protocol, the common market protocol and the current efforts to create a monetary union have helped facilitate EADB’s work enabling it to invest in viable regional enterprises that promote sustainable development. With EADB support, many enterprises have been enabled to scale up their operations and are today multinationals or even transnationals operating in the entire East African region and beyond.
New loans approved by the Bank over the last 10 years, mostly to SMEs, have helped spur the region’s development and supported thousands of jobs while ensuring improved household level incomes for thousands of families.