At Sh4.4 trillion, Kenya’s public debt is evidently rising much faster than the taxman’s revenue bag is expanding. The debt load is well over half of the gross domestic product (GDP) now.
It will take either very high-yielding capital projects or painful fiscal tightening to keep the debt under control in the next five to ten years. The oil reserves discovered in Turkana’s Lokichar basin could as well offer a magic wand that eases the looming crunch.
Much of the current debt has accumulated under the Jubilee administration. Suffice to say the Standard Gauge Railway, which is billed as the country’s single-most-expensive project since Independence, was also built by the same administration.
There has been progress in the length of tarmac built, hospital equipment and public school access during the five-year Jubilee administration.