Kenya among top African countries indebted to China

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In accordance to the China Africa Research Initiative data, Kenya was ranked as the third most indebted country to China in the continent for the period between 2000 and 2017.

According to the data, Kenya had borrowed Sh988 billion as at the end of 2017 with only Angola and Ethiopia having borrowed more in the same period; Sh4.3 trillion and Sh1.38 trillion respectively. This was despite the country having reduced its borrowing in 2017 as compared to the period between 2014 and 2016.

Other African countries which made up the top ten indebted to China in the period include; Republic of Congo (Sh749 billion), Sudan (Sh655 billion), Zambia (Sh643 billion), Cameroon (Sh562 billion), Nigeria (Sh487 billion), Ghana (Sh353 billion) and DRC (Sh346 billion).

In Kenya, most of the loan borrowed went towards infrastructure, for example, expansion of the road network, as the country focused much on development. According to the data, a huge chunk of the Sh988 billion loaned to Kenya, Sh376 billion was taken in 2014 when the country was beginning the first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line from Mombasa to Nairobi that cost Sh327 billion.

From 2015, Kenya started reducing the loan it was taking from China as in that year it borrowed Sh259 billion which was followed by smaller loan of Sh110 billion in 2016 and finally it declined further in 2017 to stand at Sh6.46 billion.

According to the data, currently China’s debt to Africa stands at Sh14.4 trillion with the transport sector and the power sector receiving the lion’s share at Sh3.85 trillion and Sh3.04 trillion respectively. Following closely were the mining and communication sectors, which received Sh1.94 trillion and Sh703 billion respectively.