The latest report by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has revealed that Kenya's debt to China has increased by 52.8 percent to Ksh478.6 billion in 2017 compared to Ksh313.1 billion in 2016.
The report, therefore, divulges that in the past one year, Kenya's economy accrued debt from China of about Ksh165 billion.
It has been established that the world's second-largest economy now controls 66 percent of Kenya's total bilateral debt, which stood at Ksh722.6 billion as at June 2017.
[caption caption="File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta and special Chinese envoy State Councillor Wang Yong launching the Madaraka Express "][/caption]
Other multinational institutions like the World Bank and United Nations, have a combined debt stock standing at Ksh526.6 billion as at last year.
The debt to China can be attributed to Kenya's partnership with them in the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
The debt is predicted to increase even further in 2018 as the SGR enters its second phase with Kenya being claimed to have borrowed more money for the extension of the railway line from Nairobi to Naivasha.
Kenya is further expected to use a total of Ksh1 trillion into the railway by the time it terminates at the border town of Malaba.
"In bilateral debt category, the stock of debt from the People’s Republic of China grew by 52.8 percent to Sh478.6 billion, accounting for 12.1 percent of the total national government’s debt position,” KNBS highlighted in its 2018 Economic Survey.
It is further declared that China's debt to Kenya has increased more than seven times from Ksh63 billion in 2013.
Japan's loans to Kenya as at June last year was at Ksh91.4 billion down from Ksh94.4 billion a year before that according to the report.
France comes in third in the biggest bilateral lenders to Kenya, after extending tp the Kenyan Government loans valued at Ksh63.2 billion by 2017, up from Ksh59.4 billion a year earlier.
[caption caption="File image of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with President Uhuru Kenyatta "][/caption]