Kenya set to double debt ceiling, almost matching economy size


Lawmakers in Kenya have approved government plans to increase the country’s debt ceiling.

The move means Kenya will present its debt ceiling in concrete figures, rather than a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The National Treasury has proposed a ceiling of 9 trillion shillings ($86 billion), almost matching the size of the country’s economy.

Kenya raises debt ceiling

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) calculated Kenya’s economy to be worth just over $89 billion in 2018 and forecast an increase to $99.2 billion for 2019. The government’s proposals mean Kenya’s debt ceiling would almost match the size of the entire economy.

The IMF recommends the value of emerging-market nations’ debt shouldn’t exceed 74% of GDP.

Kenya currently has a 50% cap on debt but the country has consecutively breached this limit since 2016. The IMF estimates the current debt ratio for Kenya is 59.9% and government proposals would put a debt ceiling at close to 100% of GDP.

Featured image: Public domain

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.