NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The Kenyan public debt ballooned in the past
months to cross above the 45 billion U.S. dollars mark as the
cash-strapped government accelerated borrowing.
The debt stood at
45.1 billion dollars at the end of December, 2017, the latest
Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review report from the Treasury
released on Monday evening revealed.
At the end of 2016,
the East African nation’s debt stood at 38 billion dollars, with
the government accelerating borrowing from both domestic and
external sources last year.
The debt does not
include funds borrowed internally through Treasury bills and
bonds in the past two months and the 2 billion dollars Eurobond
Kenya sourced from the international market last week.
“During the period,
51.9 percent of the total public debt was foreign loans while
48.1 percent domestic,” said Treasury in the report.
External debt stock,
including the 2013 International Sovereign Bond, stood at 23
billion dollars for the period ending December 2017.
“The debt stock
comprised of multilateral (35.8 percent), bilateral (33.3
percent), suppliers credit (0.7 percent) and commercial banks
(30.3 percent),” said the Treasury.
On the other hand,
total gross domestic debt stock increased from 19 billion
dollars billion as at end December 2016 to 22 billion by the end
of December 2017.
“The overall rise of
the debt was due to increased external debt mainly arising from
exchange rate fluctuations and disbursement of external loans
during the period,” said Treasury.
The Kenyan shilling
ended 2017 at a low of 103.20 to the greenback, having declined,
albeit gradually, for the better part of the year.
borrowing from the domestic market and through the Eurobond this
year, the East African nation’s debt can now be estimated at
about 47 billion dollars, which is over 56 percent of the gross
The government has
defended the mounting debt, which has caused concern with
economic experts warning that it is surging to unmanageable
“We ask the
government to seek measures to reduce the debt as it is reaching
unsustainable levels,” International Monetary Fund resident
representative to Kenya Jan Mikkelsen told parliament last