The Kenya Forum | 3.7 Million Kenyans Risk Losing Jobs - The Kenya Forum

June 2, 2020


A report by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) says at least 5,991,768 direct and indirect jobs have either been lost or workers sent home on unpaid leave due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

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3.7 Million Kenyans Risk Losing Jobs

3.7 Million Kenyans Risk Losing Jobs

At least 5,991,768 direct and indirect jobs have either been lost or workers sent home on unpaid leave as the economic impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt in the country,  according to a recent report by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa).

According to Kepsa, the figure is seven fold the 846,300 new jobs created last year as per the Economic Survey 2020.

The tourism and hospitality sector is the most hit with 3.1 million jobs affected. These include tour operators, airlines, travel agents hotel employees, pubs and restaurants, suppliers and support services.

Gender and Youth is the second most affected with 500,000 jobs lost and at high risk across the sectors.

400,000 jobs in the sports, arts and culture sectors have also been lost and At least 450,000 jobs have been lost in construction and real estate.

“Only 25 per cent of construction sites are operating. Other businesses impacted include real estate agents, valuers, property management and security,” the report by Kepsa says.

The education sector has 320,000 likely job losses with survey indicating 53 per cent of educational institutions reported layoffs with the education sector recording the highest variance of 40 hours between the usual and actual hours worked in a week.

53% of educational institutions have reported layoffs. However, some jobs have been created through ICT within the education sector with EdTech being a huge area of potential growth.”

Other affected sectors are public transport(126,768 jobs lost), wholesale and retail (40,000 jobs lost or at high risk) and legal (15,000 practising advocates and 50,000 support staff adversely affected).

The report by Kepsa further observes that no significant job losses have been recorded within the ICT sector, however there has been a decline in revenues from certain sectors like tourism resulting from business closures.

“The digital transformation enforced by #COVID19 presents an opportunity to create jobs,” Kepsa says.


Fairmont the Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Cub have since ceased their operations as a spiral effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent flooding of Fairmont Mara Safari Club.

“Due to the uncertainty of when and how the impact of the global pandemic will result in the business picking up soon, we are left with no option but to close down the business indefinitely,” said Mehdi Morad, Country General Manager.

Serena Hotels has also shut down a total of 10 lodges and camps in Kenya and Tanzania until June 15, 2020.
The hotels closed include, Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, Mara Serena Safari Lodge, Serena Mountain Lodge, and Lake Elementatita Serena Camp in Kenya.
In Tanzania, Lake Manyara Serena Saari Lodge, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, Kirawira Serena Camp, and Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp have been closed.


Mediamax-owned K24 has also announced a massive retrenchment citing tough economic tides brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The services of some employees will be rendered superfluous thereby necessitating the termination of their employment on account of redundancy,” a statement signed by the company’s CEO Ken Ngaruiya partly reads.

Those so affected will have a month’s time notice or  a one-month salary in lieu of notice.


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