Why China omitted Kenya from the list of countries to benefit from debt relief

China omitted Kenya from the list of countries to benefit from debt relief as it moves to support developing countries in Africa.

China launched a programme to offer debt relief to countries struggling to repay their loan.

However, China omitted Kenya from the list of countries to benefit from the initiative.

China, which forms part of developed economies in the world accounts for key infrastructure development projects on the continent, including Kenya.

Yi, who talked to Nation, claimed that Kenya was excluded from the deal since the country is categorized as lower-middle income.

“The African countries mentioned here refer to the least developed countries. Therefore, Kenya is not on this list,” Wang Yi stated.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said the facility programme was launched by China’s President Xi Jinping for China-Africa cooperation in November last year to grow the traditional friendship between China and Africa.

“China will continue to actively support and participate in the construction of major infrastructure in Africa through financing, investment, and assistance.

We will also continue to increase imports from Africa, support the greater development of Africa’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors, and expand cooperation in emerging industries such as the digital economy, health, green and low-carbon sectors,” the Ministry stated.

China will waive the 23 interest-free loans for 17 African countries that had matured by the end of 2021.

The Asian country accounts for the highest rate of Kenya’s 2021-22 external debt service costs, a second largest creditor after the World Bank.

Chinese ambassador to Kenya, Zhou Pingjian in July this year, revealed that Kenya owes China 10 percent of its total debt. 

National Treasury data shows that China’s total debt to Kenya dropped to Ksh793 billion in March this year from Ksh806 billion last December.

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