Updated 15 January 2021
COVID-19 had a very negative impact on Kenya and its economy for the past months. Ever since the lockdown announcement the country had a lot of people loose their jobs and having to do the necessary to keep their families alive, even if this meant stealing to be able to do this! Even though Covid had a bad impact on the economy, we have a few things to look forward to in 2021.
- From 1st January 2021 all Visa applications will be issued online. A visitor will not be able to get multi-entry visa online. This can only be issued by immigration offices in Nairobi headquarters. Therefore, an applicant will apply for single entry on the e-visa portal, upon confirmation and arrival in the country then go to Immigration offices 7th to apply for multi-entry visa.
- The list of countries whose nationals are eligible to obtain an e-visa can be accessed through http://evisa.go.ke/eligibility.html
- In the transition phase, delays in the processing of applications should be expected due to system downtime
- All applications will have to be submitted online.
- Digitization of Foreigner Registration Appointment Scheduling
- The historical issue of missing files and documents will be eliminated
- Immigration has a client assistance form when you have an issue with a submitted application or when they request for additional documents, you can contact us in the event that you are in need of such form.
- Immigration is now very strict on all applications and they are asking for documentation that might see unnecessary which we then have to compile in order to get approved. The reasoning behind this is that these jobs should be given to Kenyans because many Kenyans are jobless now due to the impact that Covid-19 had on individuals losing their jobs.
- A final date has been set for schools to reopen on the 4th January 2021 as well as new term dates were announced.
- Night curfew are still in place from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am.
- Any movement by public transport vehicles have to follow the measures given by the Ministry of Health.
- Covid cases are rising up on a daily basis as below.
- Total Cases – 98 693
- Total Recovered – 81 933
- Total Deaths – 1 723
How Economy is affected in Kenya
- Performance of Financial Markets: The majority of foreign investors who had made huge investments in the Kenyan securities market started to dispose their securities which lead to a huge slump on the security prices traded at the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
- Disruptions on the global Supply Chains: The transmission of the Corona-virus has disrupted worldwide supply chains hugely making Kenya that has relied on imports to be a vulnerable place. For instance, all imports from China are about 22% of total imports of Kenya and with the current curfew, partial lockdown measures in majority of the manufacturing and production sectors have been disrupted massively. This has had a huge impact on the economic growth of Kenya forcing laying off of many workers in the Kenyan economy.
- Volatility on the Kenyan Currency : The outbreak of this pandemic has exerted pressure on the Kenyan shilling due to the curfew and lockdown within the international supply chains leading to a scarcity of foreign currency
- Diaspora Remittances : With the reduction of the diaspora remittances due to the deterioration in global economic activities has lead to the disposable incomes thus affecting economic growth.
- Many people have lost their jobs and others getting half salary.
Corporates are experiencing challenges because it has now become quite expensive to assign foreign staff because immigration are requesting for more documents, for example, if you are an engineer you have to get a certificate from the Engineers Board of Kenya and the certificate is costing Kes. 150,000, something that you would not have to apply for before Covid.
The above information might come across negative, but we want to end this article on a good note!
A new railway link from Nairobi’s city centre will be commissioned to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). This service, which combines road and rail transport, will operate from 5.45 am to 9 pm. It will take you about 20 minutes to get to the airport. The regular train and bus service will ensure a safe and cost-effective means of transport that saves time by avoiding traffic jams usually experienced on the roads leading to JKIA.
This will not only give citizens affordable and accessible pathways to conduct their business and social activities, but also create new pathways to employment and economic development!
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By Sylvia Waiganjo