Why Kenya Prefers Taking Loans From China- Report

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta and China's President Xi Jinping During a Past Meeting
    President Uhuru Kenyatta and China's President Xi Jinping During a Past Meeting
    File
  • A report by development institution, Inter Region Economic Network (IREN), has revealed why Kenya and other African countries prefer taking loans from China.

    Speaking on Thursday, July 21, James Shikwati, founder and chief executive of IREN stated that China holds a substantial lead over the European Union in perceptions about decision-making and timely completion of projects in Africa. 

    According to the report, China is preferred for its quick decision-making process as its government and investors approve projects at the rate of 75.2 per cent.

    China was also cited for minimal interference with host nations' internal affairs such as political issues, security and country policies. This makes the African governments rush to secure its facilities. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off the Nairobi-Suswa SGR line on October 19, 2019.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off the Nairobi-Suswa SGR line on October 19, 2019.
    FILE

    Chinese government and investors were further reported to offer good working conditions and even employ local workers.

    According to the survey, the Asian country also supports private sector growth, investments and economic cooperation. 

    "China beat European countries in building projects such as roads, power dams, railways and bridges.

    "Chinese state-owned companies have significantly changed the terrain of the continent with rails, roads, bridges, ports, dams, and skyscrapers," the report stated.

    Its military was also rated above the other European nations. IREN stated that China is known for speed and reliability with organised military precision. 

    In Kenya, China has been credited with constructing the Nairobi Expressway, Thika Super Highway and Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

    They also offered several loans to President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration channelled towards different projects.

    Chinese ambassador to Kenya, Zhou Pingjian, dismissed reports alleging that China is trapping Kenya with debts. He argued that the country only owes China 10 per cent of its total debt.

    "Western investors, often in the forms of multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors, are the largest creditors of African countries such as Kenya. 

    According to the World Bank’s 2022 International Debt Statistics, 28.8 per cent of Africa’s external debt comes form multilateral financial institutions and 41.8 per cent from commercial creditors.

    Together they account for nearly three-fourths of Africa’s total debt," Pingjian stated.

    An aerial image of the Ksh88 billion Nairobi Expressway.
    An aerial image of the Ksh88 billion Nairobi Expressway.
    File