Doing business in Kenya: updates regarding COVID-19
The outbreak of COVID-19 has consequences for entrepreneurs doing business in or with Kenya. We provide an overview of useful information intended for everyone involved with agribusiness in Kenya. The agriculture team of the Netherlands embassy can answer further questions via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We aim to continue our regular work as much as possible.
Update 01 September 2020
- On the 26th of August 2020 President Uhuru Kenyatta announced in his Presidential Address:
- The Nationwide curfew from 21:00 to 04:00hrs is extended for another 30 days until 25/09/2020.
- There will be no sale of alcoholic drinks and beverages in eateries and restaurants across the Territory of the Republic of Kenya, for the next 30 days. And the closing time for restaurants and eateries has been amended from 7pm to 8pm, for the next 30 days.
- A national consultative conference is to convene to analyze and map a post Covid-19 plan.
- Kenya is working on signing a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK, as differences among East African Community member states threaten to derail negotiations for a collective trade agreement. There are four months left to the expiry of the current trade arrangement, in which East African states enjoy duty-free and quota-free access to the UK market - See this article in The East African.
- Kenya will not cancel the traffic rights for Tanzanian-based Precision Air that will resume flights to Nairobi, after Tanzania has stopped three Kenyan airlines from flying there - See this article in the Business Daily.
- While addressing the nation, President Kenyatta said the current economic indicators (economic growth of 4.6%), despite being lower than 2019, are better than anticipated. In April, after Kenya registered the first case of the virus, Treasury lowered the country’s growth expectations to 2.5% for the year - See this article in the Capital News.
- More than 600 companies have shed jobs since the onset of Covid-19 in March - See this article in the Business Daily.
- Competition among government agencies over the allocation of a Sh1.5 billion economic stimulus package for the flower and horticulture sectors has delayed the release of the funds aimed at promoting exports - See this article in the Business Daily.
- According to the latest Northern Corridor Transport Observatory report, exports have declined to 8% of total goods at Mombasa port. The new report attributes the decline in the first six months of this year to closure of borders with Uganda, which is the main transit user. In Kenya tea, which is sold through Mombasa auction, sustained the biggest export market through the port - See this article in the Business Daily.
- Manufacturers want business-related regulations audited to end duplication and unnecessary levies that discourage investments across the country – See this article in the Business Daily.
- Kenya will spend more than Sh100 million on renovation of warehouses in two years to meet the standards of Warehouse Receipting System (WRS) ahead of launching a commodities exchange. The 617.81-square metre Kisumu depot will be upgraded at a cost of Sh20 million. It is part of other go-downs in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Nakuru and Karatina (Nyeri) – See this article in the Business Daily.
- The Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) has proposed a new milk delivery plan to cut off brokers. The plan aims to stimulate farmers to invest in dairy infrastructure and directly engage processors. See this article in the Business Daily.
- Kenya will launch an electronic voucher subsidy programme this week to address the challenges of input thefts. This is part of the wider plan by the government to address the challenge of low yields. The programme will expand to other crops such as sugar cane, coffee and Irish potatoes unlike previously when it primarily targeted maize farmers - See this article in the Business Daily.
- The Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries is taking deliberate steps to protect and improve the local fisheries sector. The CS for Agriculture said the national government is determined to promote sustainable fisheries for national development. See this article from KBC News.
- TradeMark East Africa published an overview of the impacts of COVID-19 on East Africa trade, transit and borders – See this link for the overview.
- A Kickstart voucher is available for internationally active companies in the Netherlands. With this voucher an external advisor can be hired to support your company to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on your company. See more here.
COVID-19 in Kenya
The Kenyan Ministry of Health is the main source of information regarding COVID-19 in Kenya. It publishes a daily update on the spread of the virus and communicates the most important information regarding containment of the virus on their COVID-19 page. An 8-point economic plan valued at KES 53.7 billion to stimulate economy after the effect of Covid-19 has been unveiled by the Government of Kenya. See this 1 pager for details.
Further information and useful links
Below we provide an overview of useful websites based on the type of questions we receive. In case you have suggestions for important and useful additions to this list, kindly share them with us by sending us an email, email@example.com.
- For Dutch entrepreneurs that are doing business in African countries, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency made an overview of useful information in Dutch.
- A number of frequently asked questions for entrepreneurs are provided by the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency here.
- The European Commission’s response to COVID-19 includes a number of restrictions to transport, which can be found on this website of the European Commission.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance has opened a 24-hour call center and information portal for businesses. You can find more information on their website, including the consolidated private sector protocols on maintaining health and safety after reopening of the economy. For more information see here.
This website gives an overview of information provided by the Government of Kenya on COVID-19 related measures, created by the Netherlands Embassy.
The Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development has published Guidelines for Business operations during COVID-19. You can find the guideline here. The Government of Kenya has also published the attached document on government guidelines on COVID-19 measures in offices. This is especially useful for companies seeking audience with the government offices.
Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) published an analysis on the impact of the gazette notice to importers/exporters. You can also find an analysis of the changes contained Tax Law Amendments Act (25 April 2020) by PWC here. As well as an analysis on the proposed Finance Bill (5 May 2020) see this website.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority released protocols for air travel operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information see this attachment.
Following the amendments to the VAT Act, 2013, by the Finance Act, 2019, clarifying that VAT is applicable to supplies made through a digital marketplace, the Kenya Revenue Authority would like to inform members of the public that this draft - value added tax (digital marketplace supply) regulations, 2020 have been developed.
- The EU delegation in Kenya has published a factsheet on available funding opportunities to leverage investments by the private sector in Kenya. You can find the factsheet here. Find information on additional support by the EU to bolster food security here and on the support measures of for vulnerable Kenyans here.
- The Kenya Ports Authority public notice on the use of inland container depots in Nairobi and Naivasha. Find more details in this attachment.
COVID-19 in the Netherlands
For questions regarding travel restriction for the Netherlands, travelling abroad and visas, have a look at information from the Netherlands government here.
More general information about COVID-19 in the Netherlands can be found here.
Owing to changing nature of the COVID pandemic, the current situation and government measures in place are continuously evolving. Please continue to update yourself on the must current state of affairs, including by verifying information with the relevant business associations or your local partner.
Together we will get through these tough times. Stay safe
Questions for the agriculture department can be addressed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions on general trade can be direct to email@example.com. For any other questions for the Embassy, this website links to the general contact information of the Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi.
For the latest updates follow us on twitter on @NLAgiKenya and the Netherlands Embassy on @NLinKenya and Facebook.