East and Central Africa

Most of the 16 East and Central African countries covered in the present chapter are classified by the World Bank as being low-income economies. The exceptions are Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Djibouti and the newest member, South Sudan, which joined its three neighbours in the lower middle-income category after being promoted from low-income status in 2014. Equatorial Guinea is the region’s only high-income country but this classification masks great variations in income levels; poverty is widespread and life expectancy at birth is among the region’s lowest, at 53 years (Table 19.1).

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