KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga. KAM has launched an online portal which is a directory of locally manufactured products. www.businesstoday.co.ke
KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga. KAM has launched an online portal which is a directory of locally manufactured products. [Photo/hapakenya]

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has launched an online directory of locally manufactured goods, in the wake of the confirmation of covid-19 coronavirus cases in the country.

The online portal is a directory of locally manufactured products aimed at forestalling disruptions in the market. It will provide information on readily available products and services in the manufacturing sector to supplement imported finished goods as nations restrict the movement of people and goods.

The portal also seeks to support manufacturers access intermediate goods available locally, especially SMEs who may be hardest hit in case of stock-outs.

Read: How Kenyans Can Find the Right Jobs

KAM Chief Executive, Phyllis Wakiaga notes that the directory offers quick and easy access to essential information and features of local manufacturers’ products and services.

“This is an initiative by the manufacturing sector to make sure that consumers are aware of the products available during this difficult time. It consolidates all the members under the Association and their products. It contains robust information for customers, investors, partners and the media,” said Wakiaga.

The directory will be updated regularly with new products and services in the market. The public can explore the website and sign up for direct emails from the platform that will notify them on consumer news and new products by our members.

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According to a KEPSA survey, the worst-hit sectors are those in arts, entertainment and recreation, ICT, Manufacturing, Mining and Quarrying and Private Security at 100%.

See: Enduring Financial Lessons From Our African Mothers

Real estate is the least affected at 40% while other sectors like tourism, agriculture and transport have largely been affected.

During the launch of the survey, KEPSA said that financial losses had been largely minimal with 82% of businesses reporting losses of less than Sh5 million and 61% reporting losses of less than Sh1 million.

This could have changed with the country registering 25 positive case by Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

On the expected impact on Kenya and EAC region, KEPSA notes that in the first two months of 2020 Kenya’s imports from China declined by 36.6%. Similarly, exports to China have been affected due to reduced demand. Kenya exports avocadoes, tea, coffee, and other products to the Asian nation.

According to Cytonn, the coronavirus could reduce Kenya’s GDP growth to a range of 4.3% to 5.2% for the year 2020 depending on the severity of the outbreak and economic implications for Kenya.

We believe the Kenyan Government can borrow a leaf from the other governments and possibly:

  • Grant tax breaks to companies seeking to increase their capacity to produce import substitute goods, which could even mean zero-rating VAT for the next 3-months.
  • Release VAT refunds to assist businesses with managing their cash flows.
  • Encourage banks to give concessionary loans at low rates to facilitate businesses, and as well provide moratoriums on loans that are due.
  • Announce and provide for a Business Stabilization Fund to cushion the impact of the coronavirus, especially for Small & Medium Enterprises (SME’s).
  • Consider reducing corporate tax for industries that have been highly affected by the virus such as the aviation industry, or waiving corporate tax for a 3-month period as well as a reduction in payroll tax for the next three months for the low-income bracket workers, and,
  • Strengthen the local supply chain for traders to be able to access import substitute goods.

Read >> In Coronavirus Pandemic, a Golden Opportunity for Kenyans

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