Kenya asks World Bank for $750 million loan

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Kenya has requested the World Bank for $750m to fund affordable housing, agriculture and other development projects amid concerns the East African nation is taking on too much debt.

Its the first proposed so-called Development Policy Financing to support Kenya’s reform program to “further enhance economic growth and make it more inclusive,” the lender said on its website.

Some of the funding is for two of the state’s so-called Big Four priorities - affordable housing and farmer incomes and food security - while the rest will “create fiscal space to allow the government to invest in key development programs; and crowd in private investment and leverage digitization to support the government’s inclusive-growth agenda,” the World Bank said.

If approved, the financing will be hot on the heels of $2.1bn in Eurobonds that Kenya raised earlier this month for infrastructure projects and to retire maturing debt. In the first quarter, the government borrowed 25bn shillings ($1.23bn) in a syndicated loan, as part of the 299bn shillings of commercial debt it budgeted for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

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