Nairobi, Kenya | Xinhua | The Russia-Ukraine conflict is hurting the performance of East Africa’s business community due to the rising prices of key commodities, the regional apex lobby said Tuesday.
John Bosco Kalisa, the chief executive officer of the East African Business Council (EABC), told journalists in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that the crisis has disrupted global supply chains and has been devastating given the substantial amount of products that are imported from the two nations.
“The financial performance of businesses has been negatively affected given that we are net importers of wheat and edible oils from Russia and Ukraine which are key inputs for businesses,” Kalisa said during the EABC-Trade Mark East Africa regional private sector consultative meeting on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA).
He observed that the transmission mechanism of the impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis has manifested in the form of skyrocketing prices of most household and commercial goods.
“The conflict has also impacted the level of trade, investment flows into the East African region as potential investors adopt a wait and see approach,” he said. He urged governments in the region to implement duty waivers to counter the rising costs of imports.
As a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the EABC is mapping out products from the two countries that can be manufactured or grown locally in order to cushion domestic businesses.
While saying that the conflict has led to the rising cost of basic goods, which means that households have less disposable income to spend on local businesses, Kalisa added that businesses in the region dependent on imports from Russia and Ukraine are seeking alternative sources countries for their imports in order to maintain business continuity.