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It Can Be Hard to Tell If Kenya Is Managing Its Debts Well or If It’s In Danger of Debt Distress… Or Both

Confusing, even contradictory messages have been coming out over the past week about Kenya’s debt sustainability. On the one hand, the Treasury is reporting that debt servicing obligations have fallen by $634 million, including to the China Exim Bank, due to deferrals and repayments by the country’s embattled parastatal companies.

Yet, on the other hand, the head of African research at Standard Bank, Jibran Qureishi, included Kenya on his “fragile five” list of the continent’s most vulnerable major economies to debt risks. Qureishi’s primary concern is that debt servicing costs are eating into Kenya’s foreign exchange reserves.

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