Economy & Business News and Updates

  • The Covid-19 pandemic, first detected in Kenya 49 days ago, has already claimed 133,657 formal jobs and forced nearly half a million labourers on unpaid leave, according to a new report. Nearly all the sectors of the economy have been affected with transport, aviation, hospitality, manufacturing, trade and agriculture standing out. The report prepared by the Labour ministry and tabled in Parliament on Tuesday indicates that all the 133,657 lost jobs so far are in the formal sector and the number excludes employees currently on unpaid leave and those on pay-cut.
  • The Central Bank of Kenya will face a fresh test at the monetary policy meeting today as the economy continues to be battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The apex bank is expected at the Monetary Policy Committee meeting to assess the impact of a raft of measures it rolled out on 23 March 2020 to help the economy blunt and navigate the effects of the pandemic while possibly announcing new ones.
  • The government and employers, together with representatives of workers, have agreed on a number of measures to stop arbitrary termination of employment as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to stifle the country’s economic life.
  • Scared by the record numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths in Spain and driven by the drop in employment opportunities for foreign workers, many young Moroccans living illegally in Spain are considering returning to their country. Morocco closed all airports and border crossings with Spain to prevent the spread of the pandemic at a time when numerous Moroccans were stranded in Spain, which also closed its airports and border crossings.
  • Ratings firm S&P Global has downgraded South Africa’s credit rating further into junk, completing a trifecta of downgrades from all major global ratings firms. The group raised concerns that the Covid-19 pandemic will send the economy into a sharp downturn, as well as pointing to the massive public wage bill which is expected to grow. The firm now rates South Africa three notches below investment grade. It follows a downgrade to junk from Moody’s and another downgrade by Fitch in March.
  • President Paul Kagame has said that cabinet will meet this week to analyse available information on the progress in containing COVID-19, which will inform the next course of action. Addressing a virtual press conference that brought together members of the local and international press corps on Monday, 27 April 2020, the president said that opening up the economy from the ongoing lockdown will be a phased exercise.
  • The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday approved USD 3.4 billion in emergency financial assistance to the Federal Government in addressing the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial assistance, approved under the Rapid Financing Instrument, is also to enable Nigeria to address the sharp fall in oil prices.
  • The Australian government through its trade agency has contracted the services Iron Capital, an Africa-focused financial and investment advisory firm, to hunt for business investment opportunities in Kenya in the post-Covid-19 period.