KAMPALA – The chairperson of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), Mr Everest Kayondo, has said Uganda will begin feeling the real effects of coronavirus in April.
According to Mr Kayondo, most goods that are in stock are soon running as global travel restrictions over coronavirus take effect.
“With trade, we are just lucky that this coincided with the Luna year in China. We are lucky that there were no pending orders. The impact will be felt come April when the goods run out. Good thing we have alternative sources of goods like Turkey, Vietnam, Dubai, Indonesia and more. About Buy Uganda Build Uganda, if you go deep down into the Ugandan manufacturing sector, 80% of their inputs are imported. The challenge is huge,” he said.
Mr Kayondo was speaking at a customer engagement organized by dfcu Bank in Kampala on Friday. The dialogue was intended to share valuable input and insights on how businesses in Uganda can prevail and continue to thrive during these challenging times.
Moses Ogwal from Private Sector Foundation Uganda said: “The Coronavirus is affecting us in the worst areas. The worst thing to business is uncertainty. We need to see how best to handle it.”
Last week, the tourism sector was already feeling the impact of the pandemic. According to statistics from the Ministry of Finance, the tourism sector contributes 7.7 percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and $1.6b (about Shs6 trillion) to Uganda’s export earnings. But with the coronavirus outbreak, the 10 percent projected growth is unlikely.
Government restrictions, including the quarantine of travellers from foreign countries due to coronavirus pandemic, is also causing loss to the tourism sector.
Hotels, tour companies and game parks are affected as several foreign tourists and business travellers postpone or cancel their travel to a country marketed as the Pearl of Africa.