Kenya seeks China debt relief after Paris Club deal
China is Kenya’s second-biggest external creditor after the World Bank
China is in talks with Kenya on a debt-service suspension deal, its embassy in Nairobi said, days after the Paris Club agreed to delay $300m in payments by the East African nation.
China signed payment suspension agreements with 12 African countries and gave waivers on mature interest-free loans for 15 African nations under the G20 framework, the embassy said in an e-mailed statement, without providing details.
The China International Development Co-operation Agency and the Export-Import Bank of China implemented all eligible debt suspension requests from the nations, it said.
Kenya’s second-biggest external creditor after the World Bank said it “attaches great importance to debt suspension and alleviation in African countries including Kenya and is committed to fully implementing the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI),” according to the statement.
Kenya applied for waivers under the DSSI framework for about 40.6-billion shillings ($368.7m) due in the first half of 2021.
Chinese loans comprised 21% of Kenya’s external debt, compared with the World Bank’s 25% at the end of June 2020, according to a National Treasury report. Sovereign bondholders held another 19%, commercial banks 11% and the African Development Bank 7.5%.
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