Saturday, February 16, 2008

Kenyan violence stopping Uganda imports

Nothing to do with Zim, but a reminder of the interconnectedness of Africa...

From the World Politics Review:

But with 90 percent of Uganda's imports coming through Kenya's Mombasa port, maintaining this growth and stability is becoming increasingly difficult. For about a month now, three of the furniture company's containers, carrying furnishings made in places like Dubai and Malaysia, have been stuck at the port. "Some of these goods have been bought on borrowed money and we haven't even received them," says Kyazza, shaking her head. "Time is of the essence."

Kenya's political violence -- which has killed about 1,000 people since late December's rigged elections -- is distressing economies throughout East Africa, and threatening to take a swipe at neighboring GDPs if the instability continues into the next few months.

"All of the landlocked countries in East Africa have been greatly affected by this," says Abebe Selassie, the International Monetary Fund's representative in Uganda, which serves as gateway to Kenya for Rwanda and Burundi. While Selassie notes that it will take three to four months for the extent of the damage to reveal itself in GDP and inflation numbers, already in Uganda fuel prices have increased, the flow of trucks bringing consumer goods and manufacturing inputs from Kenya has reduced to a trickle and exporters are wringing their hands as their stockpiles grow. (Despite the devastating impact Kenya's violence is having on his country's economy, Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, is currently the only world leader publicly supporting Mwai Kibaki's rule.) ..

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