Kenya

Kenya has resumed servicing loans owed to China after Beijing’s six-month debt-repayment suspension expired in June, piling pressure on the exchequer, Bloomberg News reported. The government began 2021-22 remittances, with the first batch to the Export–Import Bank of China amounting to 82.7 billion shillings ($761 million), according to Kenya’s Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o. Repayments are for debt taken for projects, including a railroad between Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, and the port city of Mombasa, Nyakang’o said in emailed responses to questions.
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Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) has once again come under scrutiny after Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu reported that the top bosses at the center spent Ksh6.8 million that cannot be accurately accounted for, kenyans.co.ke reported. The auditor-general revealed serious breaches of protocol and fund misuse by KICC bosses who spent the money while attending a trip to Mauritius for an award ceremony where KICC had been named Africa’s leading meeting and conferences destination.

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The International Monetary Fund will release $407 million in new funding for Kenya’s government, citing the nation’s dedication to economic overhauls, Bloomberg News reported. The Kenyan authorities have shown strong commitment amid challenging circumstances and are acting to reduce debt vulnerabilities while maintaining support for the economic recovery, the IMF said in a statement after the executive board completed a review of its loan programs.

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Kenya expects a review of an International Monetary Fund program to be concluded successfully, in order to allow the release of $410 million in new funding for the government, Bloomberg News reported. “We expect the review to be successful given the progress we have made towards the goals we had set for ourselves under the programme,” Kenya’s National Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani said in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday. The government plans to narrow its budget deficit for the year starting July 1 to 7.5% of gross domestic product from an estimate of 8.6% in the current period.
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The International Monetary Fund approved a $2.34 billion financing package for Kenya to support the country’s Covid-19 response and address an urgent need to reduce debt vulnerabilities, Bloomberg News reported. Approval of the so-called Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility will enable immediate disbursement of about $307.5 million for budget support in the East African nation, the Washington-based lender said Saturday in an emailed statement. “Kenya was hit hard at the onset by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the IMF said.
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Former Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi has suffered a huge blow after a court declined to rule out a bankruptcy case facing him for failing to pay a Ksh 390 million loan, Kenyans.co.ke reported. Kambi had filed a petition asking for more time to service the loan owed to a local bank arguing that his appointment to the National Lands Commission (NLC) meant that he had a source of income and would afford to clear the debt in monthly installments. Reports indicate that Kambi's net worth is Ksh 50 million.

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Kenya plans to raise more money from foreign than domestic loans as it takes advantage of global appetite for high-yielding debt, Bloomberg News reported. The East African nation intends to raise 123.8 billion shillings ($1.13 billion) from sovereign bonds sold to foreigners in the next four months and an additional 124.3 billion shillings during the fiscal year starting in July, according to the National Treasury. The funds will help finance the budget.

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Kenya’s economy is expected to expand this year as activity resumes following Covid-19 lockdowns, boosting tax revenue and government spending, Bloomberg News reported. East Africa’s largest economy will probably expand 6.4% this year and growth will slow to 5.5% in 2022, with scheduled elections likely to dampen activity, Treasury said in a report on its website. The Treasury estimates that gross domestic product increased 0.6% in 2020, which would make it one of few countries in the region that did not record a full-year contraction amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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China postponed Kenyan debt repayments due over the next six months, a week after the Paris Club of creditors offered the East African nation similar relief, Bloomberg News reported. Kenya had been scheduled to pay 27 billion shillings ($245 million) to China from January through June, Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani said Wednesday on Spice FM radio in the capital, Nairobi. The delayed payments were agreed after talks with the Chinese government, he said.

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China is in talks with Kenya on a debt-service suspension deal, its embassy in Nairobi said, days after the Paris Club agreed to delay $300 million in payments by the East African nation, Bloomberg News reported. China signed payment suspension agreements with 12 African countries and gave waivers on mature interest-free loans for 15 African nations under the G-20 framework, the embassy said in an emailed statement, without providing details.

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