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Kenya’s Public Debt Shot Up Last Year, But Not Because of China

Kenya’s total public debt surged by more than $13 billion last year to a record $77 billion, largely due to a massive fall in the value of the shilling.

The shilling shed 27% of its value against the dollar in 2023, making it much more expensive for the country to service the billions in dollar-denominated loans that it owes to multilateral lenders, bondholders, and, of course China, which accounts for 73% of Kenya’s bilateral debt.

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