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Vol 60 No 14

Published 12th July 2019


Roads, rails, pots and kettles

Westerners are fuelling fears about the government’s appetite for Chinese loans. But their funding models are not that different

According to some of the opinion columns in its newspapers, Kenya is currently on a reckless borrowing spree in which the country has mortgaged some of its key assets – notably Mombasa port – to the Chinese government. China is blamed by Kenyan politicians, many of whom habitually go shopping via the thrice-a-week Kenya Airways flights to Guangzhou, for loading the country with an unsustainable external debt burden that has risen from US$8.4 billion in 2013 to $27bn in March 2019. (The domestic government debt is about equal to the foreign one.)

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