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Kenya: COVID-19 Pandemic’s likely Impact on Informal Sector

Kenya’s National Emergency Response Committee has announced far going lock down. The effects on the country’s huge informal sector, which provides a livelihood to the large majority of its citizens, will be enormous.

The informal sector is typically viewed as a stopgap measure where people subsist while they wait for jobs in the formal sector. For these reasons, the sector is neglected by government policies at the local level and by development financiers at the global level.

But, aside from job creation, it’s hugely important to the country’s economy and many households depend on the informal sector. For instance, a lot of vehicle repair and metal work takes place in the informal sector. And the fresh vegetable trade in Kenya is largely informal and unregulated.

What are the main challenges they face because of this pandemic?

Like any other businesses, informal sector business will end up with a reduction in customers because of the pandemic. The government is forced to implement quarantines and stay-at-home orders which will have negative consequences for spending in shopping malls, markets and restaurants.

Source: The Conversation

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