The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit all types of businesses, big, medium and small alike, but it is the small and medium-sized enterprises that have been hit the most. Most of these have hugely scaled down on operations, cut off employees, whereas others have closed business altogether.
It is these that the Presidents of East African Community (EAC) countries have agreed to come come to their rescue with a stimulus package after COVID-19 to help them get back up.
The EAC released a statement after Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Uhuru Kenyatta, Paul Kagame, and Salva Kiir of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Sudan held a meeting via video conference and agreed to set up a special purpose financing scheme for these businesses.
It is worth noting that the informal sector, where these small and medium businesses mainly operate employ the biggest percentage of people in East Africa, so it is imperative for partner states to support them.
The statement also said that the presidents agreed to facilitate farmers to continue their farming activities all throughout the pandemic, support agro-processing and value addition as import substitution measures.
During President Museveni’s addresses to the country during this COVID-19 pandemic, he has repeatedly said that agriculture should, and will continue because food is needed no matter the situation.