The Kenyan shilling has devalued to a record 108.13 against the dollar as of Thursday, July 23, 2020. The shedding value of the shilling is a clear pointer towards a dilapidating economy swimming in trillions of debt and meager growth.
According to economists, lulling of Coronavirus preventative measures like easing lock down has made importers resuming business to scramble for hard currencies, hence the serial shedding of the Kenyan currency.
Simply put, the depreciating value of the shilling will have a Domino effect on all facets of the economy. Kenyans seeking to import vital goods like medicine, cars, industrial raw materials, and fuel will need to dig deeper into their pockets and spend more to import the products. Common Mwananchi will feel a pinch of the said cost as prices of goods will be revised upwards.
For Traders, the surge in demand for dollars and subsequent decline of the shilling is a result of importers seeking to buy the US currency in sizeable chunks, to cover the long periods of zero business due to Covid 19 restrictions.
The shilling is reported to have shed a cumulative 5.83 percent since March 13 when Kenya reported its first Covid-19 case. The fall has, however, been sharp since July 6 when President Uhuru Kenyatta eased restrictions, including allowing movement in and out of Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa as well as the resumption of both international and domestic commercial passenger flights.