Local African Sellers Growing Some Profits from Lockdowns

Kenya_map
Map of Kenya

In this era of the coronavirus and social distancing, many local vendors in some countries of Africa are seeing bigger profits than ever because of the slower competition from imported products. This should be the time to encourage local economies, and rebuilt local industries. In the article below, you will be appalled to find out that Kenya was importing fish from China (which has probably been fished on African coasts anyway) when they have a fishing industry! Why not eat local products? Why are our governments allowing these imported products to be cheaper than the local ones (it is true of Senegal and countless other African countries with products from France and the EU)? Why are foreign products not taxed properly so as to allow for the local industry to grow? I know this time is short, but it is always important to start somewhere. It is important to take advantage of these uncertain times to strengthen ourselves as all other countries are doing!  This article is from the  BBC: Fishermen cash in as Chinese imports drop.

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Grilled fish on a charcoal stove / du poisson braise sur un rechaud a charbon
Grilled fish on a charcoal stove / du poisson braise sur un rechaud a charbon

Sales of fresh fish in Kenya have risen as imports from China have dropped amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sellers in Dunga Beach on the shores of Lake Victoria report a jump in trade of about 40% over two weeks.

The fishermen are really now smiling at the Lake Victoria region because we are receiving more visitors. Dunga is really crowded with a lot of the residents of Kisumu coming to buy the fresh fish because people fear the Chinese boxed fish due to the coronavirus,” says Maurice Misodhi, a fisherman and leader at the Dunga Beach Management Unit.

Local fish costs about twice as frozen fish from China, of which Kenya imported more than $23m (£19m) worth in 2018.

Chinese fish used to make up about 50% of the market but this has fallen since imports stopped in November and the virus outbreak later took hold.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, local fishermen complained that cheap imports harmed local trade so much that they often resorted to eating their catch themselves or giving much of it away.

Kenya_flag
Flag of Kenya

But the scarcity of Chinese fish isn’t good news for everyone. Caroline Ochieng, a fish seller says she is struggling to make a decent profit because Chinese fish is cheaper than local lake fish.

That is the reason we want the China fish to be in supply as well as that from our own lake – so that as we do business we don’t feel the burden.

There are worries that local fishermen won’t be able to keep up with new demand for fresh fish. But for now at least, they are making the most of the surge in trade.