Insights

The Eastern Africa Association is a source of insightful and helpful publications, guides, and advice for all visitors to our website. Contributors include EAA analysts, our Members, and a wide range of experts and official commentators. As a key service for Members only, we produce a regular Newsletter which contains our analysis of developments in the region.

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7th September, 2022

60 minute zoom update on the Region for Members

The EAA will hold a one hour virtual briefing, to update Members on political and economic developments in Eastern Africa. With the Kenyan presidential elections in the rear-view mirror, we will focus on the outcome and what it means for international investors. 7th September 12 noon UK time.

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Uganda Update. April 2022

There are no significant developments on the political front, while concerns over human rights and the potential for further sanctions remain.  Covid-19 appears to be well under control.  The economy is recovering but at a slower pace than originally anticipated.

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East Africa Economic Analysis April 2021

During our members’ global meeting in April 2021, Jibran Qureshi, Head, Africa Research and FIC Strategy, Standard Bank Group presented on the current state of the economies in the Eastern Africa region. You can view his presentation by clicking on the link below: Jibran Qureishi Head, Africa Research Standard Bank Economic Outlook

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Regional competition law enforcement

As regional trade within Eastern Africa grows, in September 2021 members heard an insightful presentation from Joyce Karanja, Partner, Bowmans Law, and EAA Advisory Board Member on “Regional Competition Enforcement”, COMESA and EAC perspectives. You can view her presentation by clicking on the link below: Joyce Karanja, Partner Bowmans Kenya on Regional Competition Enforcement

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On East African Debt and Bottom-up Economics

Professor XN Iraki, University of Nairobi / Editor, African Journal of Business Management and Columnist for the Standard Newspaper provided his view and outlook on East African economies with a special focus on – the debt conundrum and bottom-up economics, at the September global meeting (1st September 2021). You can view his presentation by clicking

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Ethiopia Update November 2021

The future of the Tigray conflict is entirely dependent on concessions being made by both sides to allow talks to open up.

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Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia update Nov 2021

Updates from Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia

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Commentary: Democratic Republic of Congo Jan 2022

On 23rd November 2021, the Ministers responsible for East African Community (EAC) Affairs recommended to Member State Leaders the entry of the DRC into the economic block. Our commentary sets out some background on this vast country and what opportunities lie in store for investors.

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Kenya update January 2022

As the general election nears, there is concern of disruptions and the impact that this could have on the economy.

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Tanzania update January 2022

The outlook for investors and operators in Tanzania continues to improve with a raft of measures being taken to simplify the business environment and improve the economic and political climate in the country.

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Uganda update January 2022

Uganda remains in the same place politically with no viable opposition. The economy is slowly recovering and the reopening in January 2022 should help this.

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Rwanda update January 2022

The country is showing a rebound after the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The virus is under control and a large part of the population has been vaccinated.

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Ethiopia update January 2022

After 18 months of conflict, the new year has seen the first hopeful signs of a diplomatic process to solve the Tigray crisis, with steps towards National Dialogue.

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Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia update Jan 2022

Updates from Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia

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Letter from the CEO, March 2022

On Ukraine, and the Kenyan elections

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Kenya Update Sept 2021

An election in 2022 is creating some uncertainty, particularly as regards succession.

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Tanzania Update Sept 2021

Democracy remains under threat with the arrest of opposition leaders. The President seems committed to economic progress for the country and there does appear to be a general sense of optimism in the population.

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Uganda Update Sept 2021

Covid-19 cases were declining but have risen again in August. The vaccine roll-out is progressing. There are no major changes in the political scene.

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Rwanda Update Sept 2021

Covid-19 lockdowns are being eased and economic activity is showing signs of recovery. Politically the country remains stable.

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Ethiopia Update September 2021

The Tigray conflict appears to be escalating and spreading to other parts of the country, threatening a deteriorating security situation more broadly in the country.

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Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia update Sept 2021

Updates from Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia

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Letter from the CEO, October 2021

Introducting themes of debt and corruption

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Commentary: Debt and Bottom Up Economics. Oct 2021

Professor XN Iraki builds on the theme of the growing debt burden and the impact it is having on Kenya and other nations in the region.

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Kenya Update October 2021

Covid-19 cases are declining and the vaccination programme is well underway. Politically there is some uncertainty around the 2022 election and the succession.

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Tanzania Update October 2021

The outlook is largely dependent on the extent of changes to Covid-19 policies – the Socio-economic Response Plan – as well as the broader policy and reform agenda.

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Uganda Update October 2021

There appears to be an increasing push towards new leadership with opposition parties joining forces.

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Rwanda Update October 2021

Politically, Rwanda remains, stable but the country’s actions towards perceived “enemies” of the state is drawing global criticism.

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Ethiopia Update October 2021

A new Government is in place and the inclusion of three opposition members in the Cabinet is positive.

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Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia update Oct 2021

Updates from Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia

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Letter from the CEO, November 2021

EAA CEO reflects on the year

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Commentary: Reflections on Tanzania November 2021

After a period in the investment outhouse, risks are definitely becoming more manageable again. The business environment may still be relatively speaking opaque, but it’s certainly worth getting in early.

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Kenya Update November 2021

Political uncertainty could make the next twelve months difficult although the economy is showing signs of recovery.

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Tanzania Update November 2021

With the tourism sector set to finally make a come-back in 2022, major investment projects beginning to take off, exports increasing and foreign investors beginning to feel confident to invest in Tanzania again, there are positive signs for the economy.

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Uganda Update November 2021

Opposition parties are looking to a post President Museveni future which is not by any means a guarantee.

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Rwanda Update November 2021

Politically Rwanda remains stable with a marked reduction in Covid infections and a high vaccine roll-out which is fuelling an impressive economic recovery.

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Ethiopia Update April 2021

Ethiopia is faced with a number of challenges over the next few months that could well derail what had previously been quite a positive development prospect for the country. It is unlikely that the Government will be able to draw a line under the Tigray conflict, the elections are likely to be sub-optimal

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Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia update April 2021

Updates from Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia

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Letter from the CEO June 2021

The EAA starts looking at the landscape of opportunity and risk in the region.

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Commentary: Business opportunities and risks in East Africa June 2021

EAA CEO Toby Latta talks to Tara O’Connor of Africa Risk Consulting about opportunities and risks in the region

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Kenya Update June 2021

Political stability is becoming a concern and the economy is struggling with the impact of Covid-19. The vaccination drive while launched has slowed down because of a lack of doses.

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Tanzania Update June 2021

Tanzania is beginning to show its economic potential again and investors once again are showing interest. Politically matters remain stable. The acknowledgment that Covid-19 presents a serious threat is a welcome development.

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Uganda Update June 2021

On the political front there are growing concerns that the opposition is being supressed with heavy handed tactics and the world is taking note of this. Economically, a good start to 2021 is being impeded by a surge in Covid-19 cases.

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Rwanda Update June 2021

Covid-19 is being brought under control but availability of vaccines could become an issue. The economy is expected to pick up in 2021 and politically the country remains largely stable.

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Ethiopia Update June 2021

Covid-19 infections have shown a significant downturn during May 2021. Elections are due to be held later this month which, if not peaceful, may set the country back. Ethiopia continues to open up to foreign investors.

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Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia update June 2021

Updates from Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia

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Letter from the CEO July 2021

EAA CEO Toby Latta introduces results from the Members’ survey

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Commentary: Opportunities and Risks in the region, Members’ Survey July 2021

The EAA analyses the results of its Members survey on the opportunities and risks in the region

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Kenya update July 2021

Covid-19 cases are on the rise and the country appears to be heading into another wave. Politically, while relatively stable at the moment, matters could change rapidly as the country moves towards the election.

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Tanzania Update July 2021

Politically, there is a fly in the ointment with the recent arrest of opposition leaders. The country is finally monitoring Covid-19 which is important in bringing it back into the global fold. With regard to the economy, the President is certainly looking to keep her inauguration promises.

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Uganda Update July 2021

Covid-19 infections are showing a significant rise in June which resulted in the country’s second lockdown which is due to come to an end in July. The economy, while showing signs of recovery in the early part of the year, has slowed down again. Politically there has been little or no change since the election.

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Rwanda Update July 2021

Rising Covid infections are a concern and likely to impact economic growth. Nonetheless, the country remains largely stable on the political front.

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Ethiopia Update July 2021

An unsettled period lies ahead, with the ongoing conflict and an election yet to be completed. All in all, the Prime Minister’s Parliamentary mandate will be important for economic growth going forward.

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Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia update July 2021

Updates from Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia

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Letter from the CEO, September 2021

Introduction to the September 2021 Newsletter

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Commentary: Competition law in E. Africa Sept 2021

This commentary follows the presentation by Joyce Karanja, a partner at Bowmans Kenya and specialist in competition law. It contains some of the key points for competition rules in COMESA and the EAC.

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Covid Update March 2021

Analysis of global and regional trends in the pandemic

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Kenya update March 2021

The country may be headed to a third wave of the pandemic. Politically matters are in a state of flux whilst the economy is showing signs of revival.

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Tanzania update March 2021

The Covid-19 situation, despite Government denial, is likely to have a major impact on Tanzania’s economy and its relationship with the rest of the world. Politics will probably revolve around the push for constitutional change.

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Uganda update March 2021

As long as the national and global impact of Covid restrictions continue it is difficult to see any prospect of an improvement in the economic situation in the near to medium term future.

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Rwanda Update March 2021

The sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in January seems to be coming under control. The political scene is largely stable. The economy has gone into recession and faces an uphill struggle to get back to its pre-Covid position.

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Ethiopia update March 2021

The Covid-19 numbers are increasing and perhaps being fuelled by the civil unrest. Politically the country, while firmly under the control of the Central Government, is somewhat unstable and is likely to be so till the elections are held. 2021 will be a difficult year economically for the country.

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Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia update March 2021

Updates from Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia

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Commentary: East Africa Economic Outlook April 2021

The latest indicators suggest a broad-based recovery is on the cards in East Africa following a relatively robust economic performance last year. As a region as a whole, the latest figures from NKC African Economics suggest East Africa was able to eke out a 1.2% real GDP growth rate last year.

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Kenya update April 2021

Political uncertainty predicted for the next 18 months until the elections, while the economy shows signs of recovering from the pandemic decline

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Tanzania update April 2021

Tanzania’s new president indicates likely changes to the poltiical landscape are on the way

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Uganda Update April 2021

The economy is almost certain to continue in a weak and fragile state as long as Covid and the necessary restrictions to control it nationally and internationally remain in place. Politically no great change can be expected in the wake of Presidential elections

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Rwanda Update April 2021

Politically Rwanda remains largely stable and while Covid-19 cases surged in the early months of 2021, Government measures seem to have brought this under control. The economy was showing signs of recovery but the recent lock down may have reversed some of the gains.

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East Africa Covid update January 2021

Global and regional Covid developments Jan 21

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Kenya update January 2021

Political uncertainty but likely economic recovery as Kenya goes in to 2021

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Tanzania update January 2021

Post elections, Tanzania appears to be stable and economy doing well, according to govt figures

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Uganda update January 2021

Uncertain outlook given the variety of domestic and international political and economic pressures on the Ugandan Government.

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Rwanda Update January 2021

The country saw a surge in Covid-19 cases over the holiday season and immediately took steps to curtail further spread. Politically, Rwanda remains stable and the economy is showing signs of recovery.

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Ethiopia update January 2021

Unrest is threatening Ethiopia’s gains, but the government remains upbeat about the economy

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Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia update January 2021

Other updates from around the region

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Commentary: Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. March 2021

At this time of COVID-19-induced economic and social woes, the African Continental Free Trade Area, (AfCFTA), has been hailed as a continental comeback strategy, and as a way for Africa to reposition itself on a global stage.

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January 2020 Newsletter – Somalia

SOMALIA The capital, Mogadishu, continues to suffer from terrorist attacks, with two quite recently killing a large number of people and gravely injuring many others, including some Turkish citizens working in the country.  The Al-Shabaab group is responsible for these, in an attempt to “intimidate and terrorise the Somali public” according to the country’s Prime

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January 2020 Newsletter – South Sudan

SOUTH SUDAN Following interventions by the Pope and the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar agreed (again) to form a transitional unity government by a February 2020 deadline, even if some key political issues have not been resolved by then.  Extending the deadline initially helped to maintain a ceasefire

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January 2020 Newsletter – Burundi

BURUNDI Condemnation of the deterioration of the human rights situation in the country ahead of elections scheduled to be held in May this year continues.  Some independent journalists have been arrested for being “compliant in threatening the security of the state”, with the state prosecutor seeking a 15-year prison term.  He has also called for

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January 2020 Newsletter- Rwanda

RWANDA POLITICS Although he has his critics, when Paul Kagame became Rwanda’s president in 2000, he inherited a country that had been torn apart by genocide.  To rebuild it he had to rely on mostly uneducated guerrilla fighters and a handful of ill-trained cadres.  Even the most optimistic of analysts doubted his chances and one

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January 2020 Newsletter – Eritrea

ERITREA In his New Year Address, President Isaias Afwerki spoke of the country being “perched on the pinnacle of hope and confidence” and that, “in addition to suspicious regional developments, the main factor to usher in a favourable future is our domestic strength and capabilities”.  He went on to say that “because we pursue an

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January 2020 Newsletter –

DJIBOUTI The country continues to court enhanced cooperation with China, following a recent meeting between President Guelleh and the Chinese Foreign Minister aimed at “expanding cooperation in the fields of blue and digital economy”.  The President indicated that “he was willing to actively participate in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative”, noting

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January 2020 Newsletter – Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA POLITICS He arrived with a great fanfare, bringing hope and optimism to a country that was riven with deep divides, civil unrest and soured relations with neighbouring countries. Initially, PM Abiy devoted his attention to regional matters, securing a peace deal with Eritrea, which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize, and cementing diplomatic ties

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January 2020 Newsletter – Tanzania

TANZANIA POLITICS Tanzania was not represented at the recent UK Africa Investment Summit, although Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia were all in attendance, together with their respective investment promotion agencies. The repressive political environment and deteriorating business climate were largely to blame as the country becomes an even less favoured destination for foreign investors. The

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January 2020 Newsletter – Kenya

KENYA POLITICS A round up Anyone who has witnessed Kenyan elections in the past will know that they are generally a season of musical chairs as new alliances are formed and old ones thrown out.  This is particularly true when an incumbent is coming to the end of his term.  The lead-up to the 2020

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January 2020 Newsletter – Uganda

UGANDA POLITICS “Walking against corruption” On the morning of 4th December 2019, President Museveni led a public walk against corruption from Constitution Square in central Kampala to the Kololo air strip which is used for ceremonial functions. The object of the walk was to raise awareness of corruption and mobilise the masses to fight it.

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Eastern Africa Members’ Survey on Business Climate, risks & opportunities

Toby Latta, CEO, Eastern Africa Association, shared members’ views that were received from a survey on the business climate, risks and opportunities in the region at the July global meeting of members’ (28th July 2021). EAA Members Survey opportunities and risks (1)

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East Africa Weekly Chronology – 8-14 Dec 2021

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ARC Briefing Monthly Chronology September 2021

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ARC Briefing Monthly Chronology August 2021

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ARC Briefing Monthly Chronology October 2021

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East Africa Weekly Chronology – 10-16 Nov 2021

EAA Members Survey