Eastern Africa News Network

Barometer Finds Curfews To Be Major Killers of Businesses in East Africa

The latest Barometer on business and investment in East African Community reveals that curfews have the most negative effect during pandemics accounting for 58.2 percent of recorded adverse effects.

Border closures accounted for 54.4 percent of the adverse effects followed by banning of in-person meetings at 44.5 percent, inter-country movement restrictions 43 percent and banning of public gatherings (36.5 percent).

All in all, the Barometer indicates that business within the East African Community is set to increase by over 11 Percent in the current fiscal year.

At least, this is among the findings from the East African Business Council’s Barometer on Business and Investment in the EAC and the 2022-2023 Outlook, whose results have just been tabled.

The EABC Barometer was commissioned by EABC with support from GIZ and was officially launched during the Webinar on Facilitation of Cross Border Investments.

EABC Business Barometer is an index that captures the sentiment of the business stakeholders about how they see the business environment within the EAC during 2022 and 2023.

The Barometer shows the rate of investments, operation and performance of businesses in the EAC bloc is recovering.

Businesses in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda reported reduced cost of doing business.

However, those in South Sudan and Tanzania felt that the costs increased during the pandemic and recovery relative to a year before the pandemic.

On Business outlook during 2022 into 2023, most businesses in Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania are optimistic about improvements in the business climate and businesses performance.

They hope that governments will put in place interventions for business recovery, Recovery from the losses suffered during the pandemic and Expansion the businesses to other markets within the EAC post the pandemic.

Businesses in Tanzania stood out with an optimistic view of the outlook across all dimensions.

Regarding COVID-19, the EABC barometer on business and investment revealed that curfews had the most negative effect as indicated by 58.2 percent.

The findings further revealed effects of the pandemic included lack of customers, lack of finances, reduced sales volume, and high financial losses.

Key survival measures were finding new ways to connect to customers, online or remote work, new delivery ways of products and services, changed operation schedules and temporary closure of business

As per the study findings, the East African Business Council listed recommendations for the EAC Partner States to adopt the following strategies to recover economies from Covid-19 pandemic.

  • ·         Harmonization of tax regimes across borders.
  • ·         Elimination of trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas on cross-border trade.
  • ·         Effective implementation of free movement of persons as per EAC Common Market protocol
  • ·         Harmonization of policies especially trade regimes.
  • ·         Encouragement of business formalization.
  • ·         A review of regulations or restrictions on the covid-19 pandemic policies in order to regulate, reinforce and promote investment in all sectors even for the post-pandemic recovery and resilience in the region.
  • ·         Integration of informal trade into formal channels and trade agreements for the trade in goods and services.

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