The South African rand’s 14.5 per cent exchange rate gain to the dollar this year compared to a one per cent gain for the Kenya shilling is exposing local importers of SA goods to higher costs.
At the same time, the rand has appreciated by 16.8 per cent in exchange rate to the shilling year-to-date, with one rand now the equivalent of Sh7.10 compared to Sh6.08 in January.
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The dollar is the main trading currency for Kenya, while the shilling-dollar exchange rate has remained stable this year, the rates for the country’s key trading partners on the continent have been more volatile.
The stronger rand means that Kenyan importers have to fork out more in dollars to purchase goods from Africa’s most industrialised state with Kenya counting South Africa as its largest source of imports on the continent.