Keeping Your Business in Mind

KNCCI Calls For Peace Amid the Gen Zs’ Anti-government Protests as Businesses Count Losses

By Shadrack Nyakoe

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) has called for calmness and peace in the country as many businesses have ceased operations on the onset of the anti-government demonstrations.

As the organization responsible for issuing the ordinary certificate of origin, certifying that a product is from Kenya, KNCCI has observed a worrying 17% decline in export activity since the protests began.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday 3rd July, KNCCI President Erick Rutto said the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has lost KES 63 billion in investor wealth over the past two weeks, reflecting declining investor confidence in Kenya’s economy due to the violent elements within the protests.

“We believe in the right to protest, as enshrined in our constitution and supports its exercise under all circumstances. However, we are concerned about the instances of violence that have occurred during these protests, leading to looting of businesses and destruction of property which have severely disrupted business continuity across various parts of our country. These disruptions have led to significant, interruptions in the supply chain, increased operational costs, decreased consumer and investor confidence, and loss of livelihoods. The cumulative effect of these issues is a substantial strain on our already fragile economy,” Rutto said.

He urged the government to protect its citizens and their properties during the protests as some youth with ill-motives engaged in looting and violence.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have tragically lost their lives during the ongoing protests. We also wish a swift and full recovery to all those who have been injured. Such actions as vandalism and looting in the name of peaceful protests are unacceptable and must be addressed promptly to ensure the safety and security of all. KNCCI calls on the government to expedite engagements to address the concerns raised by the protestors, enabling the economy to return to normalcy,” he said.

Kenya is currently on peak season for tourism, which was the fastest-growing sector in 2023 but the violent elements within the protests threaten to massively impact the sector and the millions of livelihoods that depend on it.

KNCCI urged for open, constructive dialogue and collaboration among all citizens to address the concerns raised and work towards solutions that benefit all Kenyans.

Preserving the integrity of the cause and protecting the well-being of Kenya, its people and businesses should be the collective priority.

The chamber of commerce pledged to support collaborative actions by sharing concerns of the private sector through an economic recovery strategy.

“There are various channels at our
disposal such as the Youth in Business platform in our 47 County Chapters. KNCCI remains committed to supporting all engagements aimed at swiftly and amicably resolving the issues arising from the protests. We believe that through cooperation and mutual understanding, we can foster a peaceful and prosperous environment for all Kenyans,” he further noted.

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