Why Kenya’s appetite for foreign loans is insatiable

Kenya has once again sought a loan of Ksh70.55 Billion from Beijing, China, amidst a ballooning public debt.

Business Daily on Thursday reported that the country booked the loan from the East Asian nation in the last three months of 2018, October, November and December.

This, in turn, made Beijing become the top creditor to Kenya after being shortly displaced by the World Bank.

With the new loan in place, the total stock debt from China increased to Ksh620 Billion from Ksh550 Billion as per data released by the National Treasury.

Construction works of the Standard Gauge Railway at Voi Taita Taveta County

In general, gross public debt stands at Ksh5.27 Trillion after growing by 15 per cent from a year earlier.

A Parliamentary committee, however, revealed that the state’s appetite for foreign loans would stay alive and that it was highly likely to push the bill to unsustainable levels.

“The emerging concern is that the government’s appetite for borrowing seems unlikely to wane any time soon and this could eventually push debt towards unsustainable levels.

“It is important, therefore, to ensure that money accrued from debt is well utilised and any public investment inefficiencies are effectively addressed to ensure that debt-funded projects yield high economic returns,” revealed a report by a professional unit from the Parliament.

Loans from China have nearly tripled in four years beginning 2014 moving from Ksh222 billion to stand at the current Ksh620 billion.

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