By Nita Karume—
Kenyan parents and parents-to-be today wake up drenched in a fresh debt of Sh203 billion ($2 billion). Assuming the population is 48 million people, every Kenyan owes the lenders Sh100, 000. This is thanks to the government’s growing need for borrowing. Worse still, future generations have not been spared.
Eurobond Data from the Central Bank of Kenya had as at December last year put the Government’s internal debt at Sh2.22 trillion. This is while the external debt stood at Sh2.35 trillion. Subsequently, this adds to the fresh debt from international lenders pushes the amount to over Sh4.8 trillion.
Going by a June 2015 report from CBK, only 1.1 million personal bank accounts were holding at least Sh100,000. The debt had been on a steady increase since the 1990s. Former President Mwai Kibaki each Kenyan in a debt of approximately Sh43,900 as of 2013. His predecessor, Daniel Moi, left power with each Kenyan having a debt of Sh19,000. Domestic debt has hit Sh2.22 trillion, from Sh982 billion in 2013, when President Kenyatta took power.
On the other hand, China is gradually increasing the external debt in its influence through projects such as the SGR. In March 2017, the external debt was Sh812.7 billion. Kenya’s debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to rise to 59% in 2018/2019, up from 56.6%.