COVID-19

Opportunities for business growth post Covid-19

In Summary
  • Disrupted supply chain have seen markets lack various products but they have seen to rise and start producing on their own.
  • In a webinar hosted by the Kenya Chamber of Commerce, various business leaders noted the potential Africa has, that will provide opportunities post covid
President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on behalf of Kenya, March 21, 2018. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on behalf of Kenya, March 21, 2018. /PSCU

The Covid-19 pandemic despite disrupting businesses that depend on international trade has presented various opportunities that the businesses should develop on.

Disrupted supply chain have seen markets lack various products but they have seen to rise and start producing on their own.

Kenya for one has started producing and manufacturing protective gear to combat the virus, which the country usually imports.

In a webinar hosted by the Kenya Chamber of Commerce, various business leaders noted the potential Africa has, that will provide opportunities post covid.

“We need to diversify our supply chain to be able to bounce back in business by creating Special Economic Zones in Africa,” said Mark Priestley, Senior Director, Trade Logistics at Trade Mark East Africa.

Nations such as China and Dubai where most people source raw materials could set up in the SEZs and provide supply in Africa so that we are not heavily dependent on them.

“However we need to protect our existing investors, as we reevaluate our supply chain to be more regional,” said Priestly.

However according to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), we are challenged by the competitiveness of our products.

“To be able to maintain stable supply in Africa we need to heavily invest in logistics, power and labour to be able to compete globally,” said Job Wanjohi, Head of Policy and Research, KAM.

Intra-African trade was at around 15.2 per cent in the period 2018, indicating that trade across the region is low.

“We need to integrate the Africa value chain, so as to prevent such disruptions in the supply chain of goods,” said Wanjohi.

The Africa Free Trade Zone which is set to be operational in July will greatly help in boosting the reginal supply chain.

"The free trade area will influence trade growth and enbale us capitalize on our supply chain in Africa," said Robin George, Partner and Associate Director; the Boston Consulting Group.