25.8 C
Abuja
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Forgotten European atrocities in Africa: Peek into abuses and man’s inhumanity to man

This story was done exactly two years ago, it generated quite a lot of feedbacks including a charge one from Shadrack Mandela which stated thus: 'less...

Bill Gates confident coronavirus vaccine will work in Africa, but Africans on Twitter not having it

Talks to have a potential vaccine for Covid-19 tested in Africa, because the number of infected people is not as high as other countries...

Africa’s low coronavirus rate puzzles health experts

Whether it's a matter of faulty detection, climatic factors or simple fluke, the remarkably low rate of coronavirus infection in African countries, with their...

Crime against Congo: Cases against King Leopold II and Belgium

The intriguing thing about the entrance of King Leopold II into Africa is that it was not with any force or coercion; rather, his...

Open letter to Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs: Release High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs body for burial

Dear Ma, I hope this letter meets you in good health.It is with deep sense of respect that I have chosen to write to you...

History Special: Queen Amina, a warrior among men

In many climes in Africa, women have had to struggle to rise above the perking order of patriarchal expectations.They were highly accepted among men...

Kenya rejects G20 debt relief initiative over restrictive terms

Kenya will not seek a suspension of debt payments under a G20 initiative aimed at helping poor countries weather the COVID-19 pandemic, its finance minister said on Friday, saying the terms of the deal were too restrictive.

Minister Ukur Yatani told Reuters in an interview he was also concerned about the impact that debt relief might have on Kenya’s credit rating.

The Group of 20 major economies last month agreed to suspend payment obligations on bilateral debt owed by their least developed counterparts through the end of the year. The goal was to free up more than $20 billion that poor governments could use to buttress their health services.

But Yatani said he was concerned that terms of the deal limiting countries’ access to international capital markets during the standstill could hinder Kenya’s ability to finance its deficit later in the year.

“We fear we might unnecessarily create a crisis,” he said.

The East African nation is instead engaging creditor countries including Germany, Sweden, Japan, China and France individually with the goal of securing moratoriums on debt service payments lasting around a year.

“We have not concluded (negotiations), but it is progressing well,” he said.

The G20 initiative only covers official bilateral debt, though it calls for the voluntary participation of private lenders on comparable terms.

A third of Kenya’s 3 trillion shilling ($28 billion) external debt is owed to private creditors including holders of the country’s two Eurobonds

“The G20 debt relief initiative does not offer optimal benefit given the structure of Kenya’s debt portfolio,” he said. “Every country adapts to the situation based on its own circumstances.”

The pandemic has caused the government’s budget deficit to swell to 8.2% of GDP in the financial year to the end of June, from an initial forecast of under 7%, mainly due to reduced tax collection and foregone revenue in the form of VAT and income tax cuts.

But the deficit is projected to narrow to 7.3% – equivalent to 823.2 billion shillings – in the 2020/21 fiscal year and to 4.2% of GDP by 2023/24, Yatani said.

“Kenya is taking a cautious approach of seeking debt relief from bilateral creditors to safeguard its sovereign credit rating,” he said.

Moody’s downgraded Kenya’s outlook to negative from stable on May 7 citing the shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to its tourism industry and farm exports.

On Tuesday, the IMF raised it’s risk of debt distress to high from moderate.

The minister sought to assure investors, saying: “We have adequate reserves to manage our payments for the next one year.”

The government has included a 55 billion shillings stimulus package aimed at preserving employment and consumer demand in the budget for the next fiscal year, which will be presented to parliament on June 11.

The cash will go towards grants for small businesses such as hotels and nature conservancies hard hit by the collapse of tourism.

The economy is projected to grow by 3% this year, falling to 2.5% if the crisis worsens, down from an initial forecast of more than 6%, Yatani said.

He attributed the forecast, which is higher than that of the IMF and the World Bank, to adequate rainfall across the country which will boost food production.

- Advertisement -

Latest Posts

US Secretary of States pushes for breakthrough on Sudan deal

AFPWith weeks to go before US elections, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is racing to make a breakthrough with Sudan that he hopes could...

Ouattara party dares Ivorians, says will hold election with or without opposition

ReutersIvory Coast’s ruling party said on Tuesday it will push ahead with the October election regardless of whether the opposition participate, comments likely to...

Egypt’s Sisi committed to ridding Libya of militia, regional interference

ReutersEgypt is committed to helping Libyans “rid their country of armed militias and terrorist organizations, and put an end to the blatant interference of...

France to Mali junta restore power to civilians quickly

ReutersMali’s military junta must restore power to civilians and arrange quick elections, France’s president said on Tuesday, warning that the French role in fighting...

Don't Miss

US Secretary of States pushes for breakthrough on Sudan deal

AFPWith weeks to go before US elections, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is racing to make a breakthrough with Sudan that he hopes could...

Ouattara party dares Ivorians, says will hold election with or without opposition

ReutersIvory Coast’s ruling party said on Tuesday it will push ahead with the October election regardless of whether the opposition participate, comments likely to...

Egypt’s Sisi committed to ridding Libya of militia, regional interference

ReutersEgypt is committed to helping Libyans “rid their country of armed militias and terrorist organizations, and put an end to the blatant interference of...

France to Mali junta restore power to civilians quickly

ReutersMali’s military junta must restore power to civilians and arrange quick elections, France’s president said on Tuesday, warning that the French role in fighting...

Fmr Air force colonel named Mali interim president, junta leader VP

ReutersFormer Mali defence minister and retired colonel Bah Ndaw was named interim president on Monday while the leader of the junta that seized power...

Leading Ethiopia opposition activist, Jawar Mohammed slammed with terror charges

Associated PressEthiopia has charged its most prominent opposition figure, Jawar Mohammed, and 23 others with terrorism-related offenses, telecom fraud and other crimes, the attorney...

Ivory Coast opposition calls for protests against Ouattara’s 3rd term bid

Ivory Coast’s main presidential election challenger and a group of opposition parties called on Sunday for a civil disobedience campaign to stop President Alassane...

Cargo plane crashes at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde airport

A cargo plane operated by Kenya’s Silverstone Air has crash-landed in Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu adding to four the number of Kenyan...

Libya’s Haftar says will lift oil blockade

ReutersEastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar announced on Friday he would lift for one month his blockade of oil output and said he had agreed...

Turkey upset by Libya Sarraj’s plan to step down

ReutersPresident Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday Turkey was upset that Libya’s internationally recognised Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, an ally, wants to quit next month...
%d bloggers like this: