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Chinese Lending Cut Makes Japan Kenya’s Largest New Lender

A sharp cut in Chinese lending to Kenya means that Japan now outpaces it in new lending to the East African country, according to new numbers released by the Kenyan Treasury. Compared to a height of $1.2 billion in 2016, Chinese lending to Kenya for the current fiscal year is projected to total a modest $255 million, just ahead of $202 million from France.

However, China remains Kenya’s largest bilateral creditor, due to large historic loans that were used to build projects like the Standard Gauge Railway. The World Bank is currently Kenya’s largest external lender, surpassing China this year. Kenyan debt to China now stands at an estimated $6.95 billion, with loans from Japan only coming in at $1.42 billion.

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