Business Captains in the region are optimistic that business in the East African Community (EAC) bloc is set to increase by 11% in 2022/23, this was revealed by the EABC Barometer on Business & Investment in the EAC & Outlook 2022/2023.
The EABC Barometer was commissioned by EABC with support from GIZ and was officially launched during the Webinar on Facilitation of Cross Border Investments organized jointly by East African Community and AFRICA Reform for Investment and Sustainable Economies Project supported by the European Union.
The 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 EABC 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 while 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 the following dimensions: Improvements in the business climate, Businesses performance, 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. It is notable that businesses in Tanzania stood out with an optimistic view of the outlook across all dimensions.
On COVID-19, the EABC barometer on business and investment revealed that curfews had the most negative effect as indicated by 58.2%, followed by border closures 54.4%, banning of in-person meetings 44.5%, inter-country movement restrictions 43% and baning of public gatherings 36.5%.
The findings further revealed effects of Covid 19 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, EABC recommends EAC Partner States to adopt the following strategies to recover economies from Covid-19 pandemic.