On 11th May 2020, KEPSA CEO, Ms. Carole Karuga participated in a webinar titled ‘The Kenyan Government and Private Sector Response to COVID-19’ hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).
The Webinar also featured Deputy Chief of Mission Amb. David Gacheru at the Embassy of Kenya to the U.S.
Ms. Karuga together with Amb. Gacheru highlighted measures that the government of Kenya has been working on with international, bilateral and private sector partners to address the health and economic impact of COVID-19 in Kenya. The webinar also deliberated on the efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 and mitigate the effects on the economy.
The government has embraced partnerships with all stakeholders including the private sector and development partners. The Kenyan Ministry of Health has been working closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on best practices and guidelines for managing the pandemic towards curbing the spread of the pandemic.
Ms. Karuga highlighted how the Kenyan private sector has been collaborating and supporting the government in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as highlighted below:
- KEPSA, the private sector apex body in Kenya formed a Covid-19 Business Response Committee bringing together key sector leaders and developed an Economic Management Framework for Covid-19 Response. The framework contains proposals for government and private sector intervention to address the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and the economy. Through this framework, KEPSA has engaged extensively with the government including the Cabinet and the President which led to the economic stimulus package outlined by the President on 25th March 2020 and effected through the enactment of the Tax Laws Amendment Bill 2020 assented to on 25th April 2020.
- Besides, KEPSA has mobilized its members to contribute in efforts to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its effects on Kenyans and the economy. This includes a commitment to protect jobs and reduce the risk of infection by allowing some to work from home or implement social distancing, provision of PPEs and sanitation materials, food donations, lowering the cost of goods and services, among others. From a recent survey on the effects of Covid-19 and ongoing interventions, 46% of all 2,466 businesses queried reported retaining all their employees.
- Through the Kenya Healthcare Federation, the private sector has been involved in testing and providing medical care to infected people. Several private hotels have also supported by providing quarantine facilities and feeding medical staff at KNH.
- The government established a Covid-19 Fund which is a private sector-led, to mobilize resources towards the fight against the pandemic and support affected Kenyans. KEPSA is working closely with the team to raise sufficient resources.
- KEPSA has also established a 24-hour call centre and an information portal to provide support and all Covid-19 related information to businesses.
This was the first of several webinars that will be hosted by KEPSA and CCA towards addressing topical issues affecting their membership.