While we are writing, the Coronavirus pandemic has continued to expand. More than 175 countries have reported cases of COVID-19. The government of many countries in Europe, Oceania, Asia and Africa alongside the continent of America have imposed a complete or partial lockdown with an aim of bringing down the spread of coronavirus by keeping physical distancing.
The exponential spread of the novel Coronavirus has caused an extensive economic and social disruption across the globe. The global supply chains of various sectors have been adversely affected and have come to a halt. The spread of the Coronavirusis seen steadily increasing in the African Continent as well. Many few countries in the continent are able to hold out from the spreading of Coronavirus. Preventive and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic are started to be taken by different governments across the continent.
Coronavirus and its effect particular in Kenya:
To help combat the spread of COVID-19, Kenyan government took some imperative measures like shutting down schools, encouraging work from home, declaring financial reliefs to the different and needy classes of the society, imposing travel restrictions and applying nationwide “Dusk to Dawn” Curfew for increasing social distancing. The Kenyan the government was also quick to allocate funds for healthcare and made other necessary financial adjustments to counter current economic challenges:
· KSh 1 billion (US$9.5 million) from the Universal Health Coverage to be channeled to the employment of new health workers to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
· The President and Deputy President to take 80% pay-cut, all Cabinet Secretaries to take 30% pay-cuts, Chief Administrative Secretaries (30%) and Principal Secretaries (20%).
· Central Bank of Kenya to lower the Central Bank Rate from 8.25% to 7.25%.
· Reduce the Cash Reserve Ratio from 5.25% to 4.25% to increase the liquidity of KSh 35 billionto commercial banks, which, in turn, will be in positions to provide loan services to ‘Distressed sectors’.
Major Economic consequences that Kenya might have to face in the upcoming time:
· Tourism Industry is one of the highest revenue generating Industry in term of ‘Foreign Currency’. With the current ban and uncertainty regarding all International travelling, the Kenyan Tourism Industry might take a long time for revival.
· Due to the disruption in Global Supply Chain caused by the pandemic, the Kenyan exports of cut flowers, coffee, and tea along with other wide range of export products have come to a halt.
· Decline in the value of shillingsagainst USD which can lead to a rise in Inflation levels.
· The pandemic is affecting economies globally. Thus, there might be a delay or withdrawal of Foreign Direct Investment as the partnering countries across other continents might have to diversify their funds and this can lead to an economic slowdown in the country.
· Travel bans & lockdowns with its positive effects are also affecting the ways of working for many individuals, businesses & government agencies. This impacts productivity levels among different sectors.
Wakeup call for World economies:
Well someone has rightly said that this global pandemic is not only a health crisis, but it’s also a forthcoming restructuring of the world economies. This might be an event which can lead to “The Renaissance” which the world needed. The governments and people are likely to take this global pandemic as a ‘Wakeup Call’ for focusing on things which are neglected from a long time. The COVID-19 crisis with exploiting the vulnerabilities it also has and will reveal opportunities too. The crisis have shown the difference to the world that, “What is nice to have and what we really need”. With the inevitable change in financial structuring of the world economies, there will be more focus on reviving the policies of healthcare infrastructure all around.
Disposable Non-woven acting as a ‘Torchbearer’ post-crisis:
Talking about the revival in Healthcare Infrastructure & policies across different economies, out of many one such sector on which we like to draw the attention is ‘Non-Woven’. It is high time to focus on the unnoticed usage of Non-woven in innumerable applications. According to a survey 50-60% of Non-woven is used in manufacturing disposable productsacross the globe. Rising hygiene awareness can be work as important growth driver for the disposable market in developing economies like India in Asia & Kenya in Africa.
The global Disposable Non-woven market is anticipated to cross $ 20 Billionmark by the end of current year. Hygiene materials & products can be considered to be the biggest segment among disposable non-woven. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic the need, awareness and demand of disposable non-wovens is surely going to increase.
Odds in favour for Emerging economies like Kenya:
The pandemic is surely going to slow down the wheels of growth & development of any country. But responding to the crisis is also necessary. Focusing on Nonwoven, contributing to speed up the wheels of development post-COVID-19 crisis we have shortlisted certain elements that can prove favourable.
· Kenya is an emerging economyand a gateway to many landlocked African countries.
· The increase in populationcan also be considered to be a major growth driver for disposable nonwoven market.
· Due to rise in awarenessamong people, there can be Increase in the usage of adult incontinence product.
· Moreover Non-woven acts as an important contender in contributing majorly 2 of the President’s big four agenda i.e. Affordable Health care & Enhancing Manufacturing.
· Government is surely going to focusmore on Health care Infrastructure post-covid-19 crisis which can directly affect the demand of medical nonwoven.
· Non-Woven will help to enhance the contribution of the Manufacturing sector from the current 8.3 percent to 15 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of 2022.
· One of the National Economic Survey report by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) indicate that SMEs constitute 98 percent of all business in Kenya, create 30 percent of the jobs annually as well as contribute 3 percent of the GDP.
There is a strong scope of growth in the Non-wovensector post-Covid-19 crisis if focused properly upon in Kenya and also across the continent. Disposable Non-woven segment will be thetorchbearer of success for the emerging economies & also for the developed economies out of the overall Non-woven Industry due to the obvious current COVID-19 crisis that we are in. As said above, it’s high time to focus on things which we actually need rather than focusing on what’s nice to have. Focusing more on Personal Hygiene & Medical applications is going to be a necessity in the upcoming times thus, Disposable Non-woven can surely be the next Big Thing to look out for.
NON WOVEN TECH AFRICA 2020
Coming up with the 7th edition of “Non-Woven Tech Asia” in Indiain the current year, We at Radeecal communications are taking rapid strides in exploring and providing opportunities for the India’s Non-woven sector by organising an exhibition“NON WOVEN-TECH AFRICA” on Non-woven sector internationally for the first time in Kenya in the ongoing financial year of 2020. Our new initiative will surely provide growth momentum for the Non-woven sector in Africa & Kenyaand the Indian domestic sector will also get a chance to have a closer look of the international non-woven market. By ‘Non- Woven-Tech Africa 2020’ we are hopeful that it will help the domestic Non-woven sector of India & Kenya to develop & diversify in terms of global competitiveness, technology, quality of products, trends and many more to add up. With support and co-operation of the fellow members & friends of the Non-woven sector, we are looking forward to make both the exhibitions successful in terms of every aspects of our Non-woven sector post-COVID-19 crisis.