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Economy

Jubilee borrows Sh1.7bn daily

kenya debt
The government has defended the increased borrowing, saying the country must invest in its infrastructure, including roads and railways. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Jubilee administration borrowed Sh1.7 billion daily or Sh208 billion as foreign loans in the four months to April amid the mounting public debt.

The Treasury borrowed six loans with a significant share being used to clear maturing loans and others for budget support and infrastructure works like building high voltage power lines.

There has been a rise in government borrowing since President Uhuru Kenyatta came to power in 2013 - a jump that some politicians and economists say is saddling future generations with too much debt.

“One of the loans is from a multilateral lender, three from bilateral lenders and two from commercial lenders. All the two commercial loans have been disbursed by the time of submitting the report,” Treasury secretary Henry Rotich said in the latest debt data to Parliament for the four months to April.

Kenya’s public debt as a percentage of gross domestic product has increased to 55 percent from 42 percent when President Uhuru Kenyatta took office in 2013.

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The government has defended the increased borrowing, saying the country must invest in its infrastructure, including roads and railways.

Critics of the borrowing spree have questioned the value of some of the projects, particularly the multibillion-shilling China-backed Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi completed in 2017.

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