onsdag 26. juni 2019

Kenya’s love-hate relationship with Chinese traders

It once was unheard of for a Chinese person to be doing business in any of Kenya's markets. But this year it is becoming a more common sight - something that is causing friction with small-scale entrepreneurs who feel that their livelihoods are being threatened.

The situation came to a head earlier this month when Kenya's Business Daily newspaper reported on an influx of Chinese traders who had set themselves up in Gikomba, one of the largest open-air markets in the capital, Nairobi. It is famous for its second-hand clothes stalls - and there is big money to be made there.

Gikomba is arguably East Africa's largest second-hand clothes market - and to understand how popular these garments are in Kenya, one just has to look at the statistics: traders imported 177,160 tonnes of them in 2018 valued at about 17bn Kenyan shillings ($166m; £131m).