Kenya is one of 23 African nations at risk of debt distress. The major causes of debt distress include poor fiscal management and macroeconomic frameworks to sustain growth, a shift in debt structure toward more costly financing sources, and excessive government expenditure levels.
Kenya’s debt was at about 70 per cent of GDP in 2021, up from 50 per cent in 2015. China is Kenya’s biggest bilateral creditor. It accounts for 67 per cent of the bilateral debt (primarily for infrastructure projects), an increase from 13 per cent in 2011.