Kenya: Business Activities Dip After Westgate Attack

Westgate attacks
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VENTURES AFRICA- Business activities have been paralysed in Nairobi’s Westland area following the recent attack at Westgate Mall over the weekend.

According to local reports, many businesses – especially those close to the affected mall- remain closed while those that opened on Monday have reported traffic, forcing business owners to close shop early.

This downturn in business activities could cost Kenya millions of Shillings in revenue.

Business District Association Chairman, Daniel Gachuru said although Westland (which has since been declared a security zone) is the most affected area experiencing productivity drop; the whole Nairobi will be affected.

“People might be back to work in other part of the city but productivity will be low as there are uncertainties hanging around,” Gachuru added.

Meanwhile, shopping malls that opened on Monday have tightened security, as village markets closed down on Saturday for security reasons.

Security concerns have been brought to the forefront as Westgate Mall – which is known for its attraction of shoppers, expatriates as well as middle and high income earners – was on Saturday subjected to attack by Somali militant group –Al-Shabaab.

In the recent Global Competitiveness Index report, Kenya was ranked 131 out of the 148 countries examined in terms of guaranteed security business-wise.

The attack may have a rippling effect on businesses in the country for a while. Already, the number of earning derived from tourism (one of Kenya’s main economic sector) has dipped to Sh96bn ($1.1 billion) in the 2012/2013 financial year compared to Sh103.9bn ($1.2 billion) recorded the previous financial year.

Analysts warned that tourists may be discouraged from visiting Kenya in the coming months as a result of the attack.

Kenya will therefore need to spend more on security to put investors at ease in order to promote economic development.




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