Debt: Another bittersweet $244m IMF loan to Kenya

By Herald Aloo
Posted on Wednesday, 11 May 2022 15:52

Motorists queue for fuel at the Rubis fuel station, amid the nationwide petrol and diesel shortage, in the central business district of Nairobi, Kenya April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Kenya is set to receive another $244m (KSh28bn) from the IMF in a loan deal laced with tough conditions that will see its citizens grapple with hard-hitting structural reforms and prompt job losses.

The loan is part of the $2.34bn Special Drawing Right (SDR) approved in April 2021 on the condition that Kenya keeps in check its expenditure and huge debt, which is currently in excess of KSh8.2tn ($70.7bn), equivalent to 70% of GDP.

“Upon completion of the Executive Board review, Kenya would have access to SDR179.13m (equivalent to about $244m),” IMF Mission Chief to Kenya Mary Goodman said in a statement.

The $244m loans, which according to the IMF now bring the total amount loaned under the program so far to about KSh135bn ($1.17bn), are meant to help the country weather rough economic terrain. The last tranche, which was issued in May 2021, was $410m.