NAIROBI– Kenya’s public debt breached the 5 trillion shillings mark in June due to government’s aggressive borrowing.
The quarterly debt report by the National Treasury shows the country borrowed 632 billion shillings in the 2017/18 fiscal year.
China and the International Monetary Fund were Kenya’s two top lenders in the period.
Kenya’s total debt was 4.41 trillion shillings as at the end of June 2017.
The latest revelation is likely to arouse a major public debate on Kenya’s debt sustainability.
The jury is still out on whether the country is borrowing beyond her means with the National Treasury defending the borrowing spree.
Kenya’s public debt has risen from Ksh 2 trillion to Ksh 5.04 trillion as at the end of June this year.
Kenya owes external lenders like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the African Development Bank, among others, a total of Ksh 2.7 trillion, while domestic creditors like commercial banks and pension funds are owed a total of Ksh 2.5 trillion.
Kenya’s debt level is currently at 58 percent of the GDP where the ceiling is pegged at 74 percent of GDP.
World Bank’s total lending to Kenya totaled to Ksh 581 billion as at the end of June, slightly ahead of China’s Ksh557 billion in the same period.
This is up from Ksh461.47 billion the Asian giant lent the country in June 2017.
China has aggressively doled out cash to Kenya to complete the Standard Gauge Railway that stretches from the port of Mombasa to Malaba.
Next week Kenya is expected to knock on Chinese doors again seeking an additional Ksh 380 billion debt to finance Phase 2B of the Standard Gauge Railway between Naivasha and Kisumu.
Japan and France are two top bilateral lenders to Kenya with Ksh 101 billion Ksh 61 billion respectively.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK