Our team is busy working to help people, governments and firms tackle the huge challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis in the sectors we support.
The environment is uncertain and fast-moving – requiring a dynamic and flexible approach informed by solid evidence and up-to-date intelligence.
We are gathering information and talking to partners to help stakeholders coordinate and ensure sectors are in the best possible position to mitigate the impact, survive the crisis and thrive in the future. We will share more about our response as the situation evolves.
On this page we will also share useful information we have collected from other sources – we hope this may be helpful to others.
COVID-19 IMPACT ON EAST AFRICA – FORTNIGHTLY BRIEFING
Every two weeks we are working with our partners Msingi and Gatsby Africa to produce a briefing on the impact of the crisis in East Africa. This covers information on the macroeconomic impact, how the sectors we work in are being affected, and the donor response. It also includes links to useful trackers and sources of further information.
Week Commencing 31st August Summary
The macroeconomic impact
Economies in the region are continuing to perform well despite COVID-19. Kenya has recorded a 4.6% growth rate over Q1 and Q2 2020, compared to 5.5% over the same period in 2019. In Uganda, recently released data highlights exports increased from $290M in May to $337M in June. This growth has been fuelled partly by a swift recovery in the country’s floriculture sector. Rwandan exports also continue to perform well, powered by resilient production systems in tea and coffee. Politically, however, challenges remain. In Kenya, procurement irregularities at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) have prompted a series of investigations and calls for the resignation of the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe. In Uganda, critics have noted that the response to COVID-19 has been politicised, with instances of state repression in opposition strongholds.
The sector impact
As Kenya and Tanzania re-open to tourism, lodges and tour operators have had to adapt by ensuring new protocols around social distancing. Average tea prices at the Mombasa auction continue to edge up week on week in a context where production in India and Vietnam continues to suffer due to movement restrictions and supply chain disruptions. The Kenyan government and mitumba traders have agreed on protocols for the resumption of importation and sale of second-hand clothes, after the COVID-19 related ban has recently been lifted.
The donor response
In response to procurement irregularities at KEMSA, USAID and the Global Fund have initiated a probe into how their funding for Kenya’s COVID-19 response. TradeMark East Africa, through funding from the European Union, has delivered PPE to all staff at the Mombasa port.
You can download the latest briefing for the week commencing 31st August by visiting the Gatsby Africa Website.