Your guess is a s good as mine as to what the BBI referendum, coupled with campaigns for 2022 general elections going into full throttle, will mean for selling.
21 is considered a lucky number by gamblers. Aptly so given the unique selling environment 2021 presents.
First, we are coming from a spiralling 2020, so 2021 can only be full of promise. After all, when you hit rock bottom, the only way is up. So, there’s an air of optimism which is a good thing. It may be even better for sellers that invested in the lull in 2020; invested, for instance, in creating products, to align to the new normal. There are those that gave away vouchers to be redeemed when the dust settled. This way, they not only retained clients, they also acquired new ones and endeared themselves further to their customers. Likely some clients may redeem the vouchers this year and make other purchases in the course of it. Then there are those that, adopting technology, ensured remote access to their products and spent last year promoting this new offering so as to nudge the buyers’ paradigm shift to it. Possibly 2021 will be harvesting time because both buyers and sellers are aligned in experiencing the importance of remote access.
Then, there is our disruptive politics; as if campaigns for 2022 general elections going into full throttle are not enough, because of the BBI, we will have a referendum, too. Your guess is as good as mine as to what this will mean.
Next, the social front. Schools have reopened, and family dynamics changed yet again; more importantly, concern for the health of the nation has peaked. Personally, as I’ve shared before, I believe it’ll be business as usual. The air at school is not different from that the students have been breathing, unmasked, and in ‘dehydrated’, congested slum areas, while actively playing outside. Infections may spike, yes, just as they would with the common cold. But, in my lay view, it’ll be just that – a one-off spike. With COVID-19 firmly entrenched in the community, pneumonia annually killing sixteen times more Kenyans, annual global COVID-19 deaths being at par with tuberculosis, continued hand-washing happening, unfazed Tanzania being an unsolicited control in the ‘experiment’, and all gory predictions in 2020 falling flat, our less than 2 per cent mortality rate can only lessen. As for the vaccine it’s still early days.
Economically, with over 13 million school-going children resuming school, the economy is bound to be stimulated across several sectors, agriculture being foremost. Also, though most of last year witnessed many job losses, in 2021 there’s renewed zeal to employ. Though, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 45.9 per cent of 2.92 million workers in the formal sector earn less than Sh30,000 per month, and only 2.9 per cent earn more than Sh100,000; further, a survey by Ipsos from 2018 says that around half of all Kenya’s households (not individuals) made less than Sh10,000 in a month.
Such is my assessment of 2021. Let’s see how the dice will roll. Happy New Year.