Kenya: Treasury has borrowed Sh430 billion in four months

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Kenya’s government has borrowed a record Sh430.6 billion (USD 4.19bn) in four months, pushing the East African country’s debt past the Sh4 trillion mark.

According to a report from the National Treasury, the latest round of borrowing was lent between February and June this year – before the country held one of the most expensive elections in Africa’s history last month.

 

Loans for development projects

The report lists a total of 29 separate loans – both unilateral and multilateral – which the government says will be used to finance development projects in various parts of the country.

“The proceeds are expected to achieve the country’s development agenda. The proceeds are mainly to fund infrastructure projects including roads, irrigation and water supply, energy, health, and education,” the report says to Parliament.

The list of loans includes one to the value of Sh33.3 billion to fund the construction of Arror Dam. Two Sh31.3 billion and Sh 4.4 billion loans are to be spent on two different Kamwarer Dam Tranche projects. While another Sh10.9 billion has been secured to finance the East African Community (EAC) and the Kenya-South Sudan regional corridor.

The complete list of loans from the four-month period totals Sh430.6 billion.

 

Kenya’s rising debt

The report will do little to silence critics who accuse the government of overspending on last month’s election – which will now have to be reheld in October at extra expense.

Kenya’s economic progress has stalled in recent years as the nation’s debt rises and it faces steeper competition from rising economies in the region. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s vows to fight graft and corruption during his first election campaign haven’t been fulfilled, his critics argue.

 

Featured image: By Jorge Láscar from Bogotá, Colombia – Parliament building entranceUploaded by Snowmanradio, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13284056

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.