🇨🇳China Take-Over Worrying for 🇰🇪Kenya*

🇨🇳China Take-Over Worrying for 🇰🇪Kenya*

China has overtaken the World Bank to become Kenya's single largest creditor, accounting for 72 per cent of the total debt owed to foreign lenders. In just over ten years since Kenya turned from West to East, the government has borrowed Sh534 billion from China, slightly more than Sh508 billion owed to the World Bank, hitherto the leading lender.

Kenya owes a whopping Sh5.011 trillion to local and international creditors, banks and countries and will spend 54 per cent of revenue collected in the current financial year to pay debts. Kenya is extremely disadvantaged in the expanding economic relationship with China. Behind the imposing multi-billion shilling infrastructure projects and imports once considered luxuries by ordinary Kenyans are tales of failing industries supplanted by cheap imports and mistreated, underpaid workers.

The debt to China is also burgeoning and repayment terms are breathtakingly steep. Every Kenyan man, woman and child owes China Sh10,647, and counting. The debt is likely to shoot up with more bilateral agreements expected to be signed when President Uhuru Kenyatta visits China next month. The most controversial of Kenya’s dizzying borrowing spree in the last ten years remains the Sh332 billion from China’s Ex-Im Bank for the SGR in 2014.

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