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With Inventories Running Low, Businesses Across Africa Worry About What’s Next

Chinese made mobile phones are among the product categories that are being impacted by supply problems due to the near halt in China-Africa shipping and aviation trade. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

The near-halt in aviation and shipping links between China and Africa is causing severe disruptions in the supply chain that stocks the inventories of countless businesses across the continent. Merchants of all sizes and in all sectors are now scrambling to find other suppliers to replace the Chinese but they’re finding that’s not easy… even if possible at all.

  • KENYA: Data from the Kenya Trade Network Agency(KenTrade) shows a 38.7% drop in the value of imports from China in January. Manufactures, retailers and logistic institutions have warned that if the situation in China persists, local traders are likely to run out of stock and close as only a few can manage to outsource goods from other “costly” markets. (THE STAR)
  • NIGERIA: From consumer goods to technology to home interior decorations, Nigerian merchants are increasingly running out of inventory from China and are becoming increasingly worried that they will have to shut their doors. (CHANNEL NEWS ASIA)
  • RWANDA: Even if Chinese suppliers resume production again, Rwandan buyers fear that costs will remain prohibitively high. “We are beginning to experience scarcity in the market, but the situation is likely to worsen in the coming months,” said Michel Sebera, the Permanent Secretary in Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade and Commerce. (THE EAST AFRICAN)

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