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Kenya’s National Debt stands at Ksh. 10T

By Kamadi Amata


An image in which President Uhuru Kenyatta poses with Kimberley Leonard, a Sky News anchor, with the journalist holding a document with the word “Loans” on its cover is was found to be ALTERED.

The post was shared on Twitter as the Kenyan President began a three-day visit to the UK on 27 July 2021 at the invitation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The original photo, according to a reverse image search,  done by PesaCheck, is a tweet by Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK, Manoah Esipisu.

The picture prompted us to look at what is the current Kenya’s debt. According to the national treasury monthly debt bulletin April 2021 the total nominal public and publicly guaranteed debt as at end of April 2021 was Kshs. 7,421.85 billion (65.8 per cent of GDP).

Domestic debt stock was Kshs. 3,632.91 billion (32.2 per cent of GDP) equivalent to USD 33.69 billion while the External debt stock was Kshs. 3,778.94 billion (33.6 per cent of GDP) equivalent to USD 35.13 billion. Domestic debt accounted for 49 per cent of total debt while external debt accounted for 51 per cent.

Domestic Debt by Instruments

The distribution of domestic debt by instrument type shows that the ratio of Bonds to Bills was 77:21 while the Government overdraft at the Central Bank of Kenya, Tax Reserve Certificates and bank advances.

Currency composition of external debt.

The proportion of external debt denominated in USD, Euro, Yen, Yuan and Sterling Pound was 64.5 per cent, 20.3 per cent, 6.6 percent, 5.8 percent and 2.6 percent respectively. Other currencies combined accounted for 0.2 per cent of external debt.

Jason Braganza from the African Development and Network on Debt on Development launched a document titled “AFRODAD Borrowing Charter”, said the current debt situation is a big threat to Kenyans developments plans. He said if Kenya’s internal and external dent are not well managed, this may lead to crisis.

On his part Finance CS Ukur Yattan said recovery measures must be put in place to ensure the economy is revived from the Covid 19 pandemic.

The government has borrowed Sh1.06 trillion during the coronavirus pandemic period to push the country’s public debt to Sh7.34 trillion.

The latest budget implementation review report by Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o also shows the government borrowed an average of Sh2.89 billion every day or Sh88.33 billion per month in the past 12 months.

Nyakang’o said the increased borrowing portends disaster.


This story was produced by Kamadi Amata at Mtaani Radio in partnership with Code for Africa, Kenya Community Media Network and the Catholic Media Council with support from the German Cooperation as a part of the Our County Our Responsibility project.



Kamadi Amata
I am a digital content creator with niche in Health, politics, and Human Interest Features.

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