After the Pandemic, Kenyan Businesses Start Re-opening

There is no denying that 2020 has been a wild year. The Covid-19 pandemic brought the world’s economy to a halt and many nations have suffered their worst recession in decades. Hundreds of millions of people around the world are estimated to have lost their jobs in the past few months.

Here in Kenya, the number of people who lost their livelihoods is estimated at over one million. A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) revealed that the jobs crisis deepened between May and June, a period when the percentage of Kenyans without meaningful employment went up from 49.9 percent to 61.9 per cent. To put it bluntly, 6 out of 10 adult Kenyans are unemployed; over 13.8 million of them.

Although Kenya’s data collection and analysis is famously flawed, it is clear how dire the situation is.
As a result of less money in our pockets, the country has seen record numbers of rent defaulters, with many especially in the capital Nairobi opting to move back up-country where the cost of living is much lower.

A few landlords gave rent rebates, holidays or discounts at the height of the pandemic, but that was neither enough for the broke tenants, nor sustainable for the loan-servicing landlords. Not only the real estate market was hit hard. If we take a look at what businesses “survived” the draconic actions that were taken to mitigate the virus, we’ll mostly see digital services companies, big website owners such as the best online casinos in Kenya and e-commerce empires. The existence of those businesses had a big positive impact on the economy as more people spent their money there which resulted in increased taxes income for the government.

After all, European football, sport betting/gambling, have resumed. Although as we stated above gambling is a bit different – some gambling sites in Kenya saw an increase in their casino section along with the decrease in the sports betting. Also, this is the time when night clubs make most of their money.

While many are operating on the guise of offering food and non-alcoholic drinks only, the reality is anything but. The re-opening of this industry will particularly be welcome by the tens of thousands of Kenyans who get their livelihood from it. The closure of night clubs was the most drastic of moves by the president, and this rendered thousands of waiters, DJs, bouncers etc. completely jobless.

As for the rest of the economy, the financial beating most Kenyans have experienced will leave businesses suffering for months to come. Jobs will not come back immediately and money will not magically return to our pockets.

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