China Issues Statement on Kenya's Growing Debt

  • Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (Left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping prior to a bilateral meeting in Beijing, China in 2018.
    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (Left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping prior to a bilateral meeting in Beijing, China in 2018.
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  • China has revealed that it is ready to suspend Kenya's debt nearly a week after the country received the pardon from the Paris Club of international creditors.

    Kenya had made a request for its overwhelming debt obligations to be temporarily suspended to allow the economy to recover from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    In a statement, Chinese Embassy spokesperson Huang Xueqing confirmed that both channels were keeping efficient communication through a smooth channel.

    The embassy further noted that Beijing would accede to a debt relief request from Nairobi to strengthen coordination.

    The suspension is part of the Asian country's measures to cushion developing countries from Covid-19 pandemic.

    Central Bank of Kenya, Nairobi.
    Central Bank of Kenya, Nairobi.
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    “Africa’s need is always China’s concern. We stand ready to strengthen coordination with Kenya and assist Kenya in its efforts to address debt challenges.

    "Both sides are now keeping efficient communication through a smooth channel," stated the Embassy.

    So far, China has suspended 12 African countries making it the country that has signed suspension agreements with the highest number of countries.

    “China attaches great importance to debt suspension and alleviation in African countries including Kenya and is committed to fully implementing the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI),” continued the embassy.

    Kenya owes China more than Ksh725 billion in bilateral debt with the total debt in the country expected to cross Ksh10 trillion mark.

    On Monday, January 11, the Paris Club of international creditors announced that they had granted Kenya a six-month debt suspension.

    The country filed for a Debt service suspension Initiative (DSSI) to the international creditor citing a number of reasons including the Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged the economy.

    A total of 12 countries agreed to the move to grant the country more time to service their Ksh69 Billion

    The countries include Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks at the funeral service of Mama Hannah Mudavadi at Mululu village in Vihiga County
    President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks at the funeral service of Mama Hannah Mudavadi at Mululu village in Vihiga County
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