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President Uhuru Kenyatta after he flagged-off the 1st freight train connecting Nairobi to Naivasha's Inland Container Depot at the SGR Nairobi Terminus on December 17, 2019. /PSCU

Kenya

China ready to suspend Kenya’s debt over COVID-19 pressure

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 17 – China has indicated its willingness to suspend Kenya’s debt as part of measures to help developing countries weather the COVID-19 storm.

The Embassy in Nairobi said China stands ready to strengthen coordination with Kenya in its efforts to address debt challenges.

“Africa’s need is always China’s concern,” the Embassy said, “We stand ready to strengthen coordination with Kenya and assist Kenya in its efforts to address debt challenges.”

It said “Both sides are now keeping efficient communication through smooth channel.”

China has already signed debt service suspension agreements with 12 African countries and provided waivers of matured interest-free loan for 15 African countries under the G20 framework.

Cumulatively, China has suspended more debt service than any other G20 member.

The China International Development Cooperation Agency and the Export-Import Bank of China have implemented all eligible debt suspension requests of the developing nations.

“China 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),” the Embassy said.

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Kenya has benefited from infrastructural development funded through loans from China, including the Thika Superhighway, the Mombasa-Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway and the ongoing construction of the Westlands-Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) Express Way that is aimed at easing traffic congestion to the main airport.

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