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The Kenyan economy is capable of absorbing shocks linked to COVID-19 subject to establishment of precautionary measures like enhanced monitoring, sensitization and diversification of export markets.

Carol Karuga, chief executive officer, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) expressed confidence in the country’s ability to withstand COVID-19 disruptions amid predictable policy environment and high levels of awareness on potential risks among local investors.

“There is no major panic among Kenyan businesses despite the global spread of COVID-19 and the financial losses have been largely minimal,” said Karuga.

“We are encouraging our members to increase local production, value addition and explore new markets in the region,” she added.

Karuga spoke during the launch of the KEPSA survey on impacts of COVOD -19 to the local economy which revealed that 82 percent of businesses reported losses of less than 5 million shillings (50,000 U.S dollars) due to the epidemic.

The survey that covered 127 businesses across 17 sectors of the economy indicates that supply chain disruptions linked to COVID-19 had a slight impact on productivity and bottom lines.

“Some of the challenges that businesses grappled with include disruption of logistics, cancelation of travels, delayed deliveries and stock-outs,” the survey says.

Karuga said that Kenyan investors have been encouraged to take proactive measures like limiting travel, adoption of teleconferencing, procurement of protective gear and sensitization to limit the impact of COVID-19 on business.

“Medium-term plans like strengthening of local value chains, less reliance on imported raw material and use of technology to conduct business could insulate our investors from negative impact of COVID-19,” said Karuga.

She said that Kenyan manufactures can leverage on opportunities provided by regional blocs to boost their exports amid volatility in the global market linked to the epidemic.

“The local industries should also off-load their excess production capacity to local small and medium-sized enterprises that have better market linkages,” said Karuga. Enditem

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