These are Kenya's top lenders in 2017 and how much the country owes each

Globally, Kenya is ranked at number 78 out of 137 countries by World Economic Forum global competitive index.

The country’s gross public debt currently stands at Sh4.04 trillion – equivalent to 52.6 per cent of GDP – according to latest data from the Treasury.

While debts are not necessarily bad and can actually be good for growth should they be used for primarily be used for development and not requirement expenditures.

Financial institutions such as World Bank, IMF and Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kippra) have warned Kenya should go slow on its borrowing spree lest it risks crossing the tipping point and start borrowing from Paul to pay peter.

“The fiscal deficit needs to be reduced a little bit to make more room for the private sector and also to reduce the public debt pressure,” Jan Mikkelsen, IMF representative to Kenya said.

According to the controller of budget fiscal year report for 2016/17, the total expenditure by the National Government was Kshs.1.96 trillion, of which recurrent expenditure at Kshs.1.36 trillion and a paltry Kshs.602.3 billion allocated for development.

Personnel Emoluments and Domestic and Foreign Travel being some of the biggest recurrent expenditures,

“The high level of public debt in Kenya narrows the window for future borrowing, and increases vulnerability to fiscal risk in the event of any urgent need for borrowing,” Kippra said in its latest report.

So who are Kenya’s top lenders and how do each owes East Africa’s biggest economy?

China was the top lender that advanced bilateral loans to Kenya in the past year, according to newly released Treasury data.

Beijing gave Nairobi a total Sh487 billion ($4,733.94 million) in the 12 months through end of September 2017.

Within a period of just three months to September, China lent Kenya Sh122.73 billion ($119.16 million)

Japan, which has lent Kenya ($879.29 million) is second, followed by France ($687.89 million), and Germany ($314.25 million) respectively.

Other lenders jointly account for $362.06 million in bilateral loans to Kenya.

IDA/IFAD and African Development Bank (ADB/ADF) top the list of multilateral financiers to Kenya having lent $5,132 million and $1,993 respectively.

Globally, Kenya is ranked at number 78 out of 137 countries by World Economic Forum global competitive index with 54.4 per cent on Gross general government debt as a percentage of GDP.


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