- Total external debt: $6.8 billion
- Total external debt payments: Kenya gives $364 million each year to the rich world in debt payments
- Total debt payments: Kenya allocates $1.6 billion a year to paying debts, including domestic debt*
- UK debt: Kenya owes approximately £20 million to the UK
- Population: 33 million
- Average income: $1.32 a day per person
- Percentage of adults who can read and write: 74%**
- Average life expectancy: 48 years
- Total health spending: $430 million a year*
(All figures 2004, except * are 2005/06 and ** is 2003)
Debt cancellation statusKenya is officially classed as a low-income country by the World Bank. It is considered to have a 'sustainable' debt: this is measured by the size of external debt in comparison to the value of exports, without taking into account domestic debt or what Kenya needs to spend on tackling poverty. It is therefore not eligible for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative or the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. It is theoretically eligible for additional debt assistance from the UK, but has not met the conditions required to qualify.
What do campaigners say?
"We ask the Government of Kenya to be firm and united with debt campaigners in demanding 100% unconditional cancellation of Kenya’s external debt, in order to release funds for the country’s and people's sustainable development. Our debt is largely odious and illegitimate, contracted by a corrupt ruling elite and conveyors of the creditors out to make money. This is a matter of justice. We have paid this debt many times over, through direct monetary repayments, and through colonial and post colonial injustices by the creditors."
Njuki Githethwa, KENDREN (Kenya Debt Relief Network)
Last updated: April 2007