Kenya settles all debts owed to the UK since independence

Kenyan owes no debt to the United Kingdom as the Treasury cleared all of its direct loans secured from Britain.

This goes down in history as the first time that Kenya has fully paid its direct loans to the UK since 1963 when it gained independence.

According to the Treasury, Kenya cleared a Sh1.4 billion debt that was there as of May 2015.

Haron Sirima, the director-general of Public Debt Management Office at the Treasury noted that the UK has shifted from direct funding for developing countries like Kenya.

The UK now channels this funding through agencies such as the Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank which then give the funding for onward lending to developing nations like Kenya.

 “The World Bank Group is the leading official creditor to Kenya with the UK as a significant contributor to these resources. So for every dollar we receive from World Bank or IMF, the UK taxpayers funds are included, in a significant way,” Sirima said.

“Furthermore, the UK through its development assistance arm, DFID channels funds directly to the private sector non-state actors. This is a common practice by most EU countries and the US.” 

Kenya is now set to benefit more from the UK following the inking of post-Brexit deal where the country will, among other things, enjoy unrestricted export of goods.

However, China remains a major headache for Kenya over a Ksh671.15 billion debt which it secured to fund major infrastructural projects.

Among them is the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) which is currently in its second phase from Nairobi to Naivasha.

The country’s total debt now stands at Ksh6.6 trillion and could go up further to Ksh. 16 trillion by June 2024.