EDITORIAL: Heed debt warnings
6 months ago, 11 Mar 19:00
Despite repeated warnings about the risk of accumulating huge Chinese loans, Kenya has dismissed those concerns. According to Western governments led by the US, the Chinese loans are pushing African countries like Kenya into unsustainable debt levels. While every country has a right to engage with other countries of their choosing without any external pressure, we aver that it is time Kenya paid attention to warnings about China’s intentions. According to American officials, China has made great inroads in Africa through heavy investment in much needed infrastructure, but warn that this has encouraged dependency and endangered natural resources. While there is no denying that the Western governments are envious of the way in which China has supplanted them on the African continent, African countries should not blindly enter into these massive deals. China has been Kenya’s biggest bilateral lender since 2014 and became the top creditor with the debt standing at $5.18 billion as of last December. China’s debt accounted for 22.86 per cent of Kenya’s external debt of $22.757 billion (Sh2.3305 trillion) in total bilateral loans. Instead of dismissing these concerns the government should listen to the warnings.
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