Kenyan businesses on recovery path amid easing of COVID-19 measures: report

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-20 21:52:53|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Gradual easing of COVID-19 containment measures such as curfews and lockdowns are behind a rebound of business activities in Kenya, says a report that was launched in Nairobi on Friday.

The report which was compiled by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), a local business lobby, from Sept. 14 to Oct. 15 finds that phased reopening of the economy injected vitality into businesses across diverse sectors like tourism, retail and transport.

"Across all sectors, the impact of COVID-19 on businesses has toned down largely from high or very high negative to moderate negative impact after easing of lockdown and other containment measures," says the report.

It was the fourth report this year to be compiled by Kenya's investors lobby in order to shed light on the impact of the pandemic on the overall business climate in the country.

More than 400 business entities that were surveyed were drawn from strategic sectors like tourism, construction, agriculture, financial services, manufacturing and retail.

According to the report, the negative impacts of the pandemic to overall business activities dropped from 74 percent in June to 50 percent in September when easing of containment measures commenced.

"Compared to the May/June survey, businesses across the sectors reported significant improvement in their financial positions," says the report.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sept. 28 announced the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures like restricted movements, night curfews and reopening of bars and restaurants to help revive the economy.

Kenyatta said that phased reopening of key economic sectors like tourism, retail and transportation would help restore jobs and livelihoods devastated by the pandemic.

The survey from Kenya's investors lobby said that fiscal incentives, deferred loan repayment, salary cuts for contract employees and reduced expenditure on non-essential products, enhanced the resilience of firms amid COVID-19 related shocks.

It says that the majority of business executives are upbeat about recovery in 2021 when availability of a vaccine is expected to minimize the negative impacts of the pandemic on human health and the economy.

"Across the sectors, there is optimism of recovery by the end of next year, 2021. Sectors with the majority of businesses expecting full recovery by next year include health, transport and storage, manufacturing, education, construction, finance and insurance," says the report.

It says that businesses that leverage on e-commerce, retraining of employees, manufacture of personal protective equipment and the domestic market, stood a better chance of withstanding COVID-19 shocks. Enditem