The latest Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse, the Swiss investment bank, reveals that Kenya’s public debt now equates to about Sh58,000 ($523) per adult in the country. Kenya’s combined foreign and domestic debt now stands at more than Sh7 trillion according to data published by the National Treasury: that’s Sh7,000,000,000,000 – seven million, million, Shillings!
Kenya’s national debt has reached a level whereby taxpayers contribute 30 percent of the national budget, or Sh2 billion daily, to the debt repayment.
Greater Debt Dependency
Another study, a Debt Sustainability Analysis report by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, highlights Kenya’s dependency on increasing commercial financing putting the country at risk of debt distress.
The Credit Suisse report also warns that exchange rate fluctuation can add to the increasing debt. In 2020 Kenya’s dollar exchange rate has fluctuated by 3.1 percent thereby increasing the amount of dollar denominated loans.
Kenya Fourth Richest Country in Africa.
Not all the financial news is bad however.
Despite its high level of debt, Kenya is the richest country in East Africa with a wealth per adult estimated to be in the region of Sh37.2 trillion.
Kenya also has the fourth highest concentration of wealthy people, with only Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt registering more.
The onset of Covid 19 however, has hit the rich list in Kenya. According to a report by Knight Frank, the number of Kenyans with a net worth of at least $30 million (Sh3.3 billion), dropped from 106 to 90 in 2019.
The Knight Frank report also noted that ‘high net worth individuals’ in Kenya (those with $1 million/Sh109 million, or more, dropped by 912 in the year to the end of 2019, from 4,235 to 3,323. TAGS