Kenya: Govt in Talks With IMF to Access Emergency Loan

Kenyan Shillings (file photo).
22 November 2020

Nairobi — Kenya is currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund to access emergency loan for the next three and a half years.

The lender through a statement revealed that after holding a virtual meeting with government officials for three weeks, it was agreed that there were key principles why the country needed the bail out.

"A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Mary Goodman conducted a virtual mission to Kenya from October 27 to November 17, 2020, to undertake negotiations on a 3½ year Extended Fund Facility (EFF)/Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement," reads the statement.

According to IMF, the fund supported program is to help Kenya's next phase of the COVID-19 response and a strong multi-year effort to stabilize and begin reducing debt levels.

"There is broad agreement on the key principles that could underpin a Fund supported program to help the next phase of the country's COVID-19 response and a strong multi-year effort to stabilize and begin reducing debt levels," it added.

At the same time, the lender has also noted that despite the country's economic activities picking up, the outlook remains uncertain.

"Activity has generally been picking up from the trough in April-May, but with remaining weakness in the tourism and education sectors among others," said IMF's lead Mary Goodman.

The team met with Cabinet Secretary National Treasury,Ukur Yatani, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge, among others where it was also noted pending issues to results before concluding on the loan arrangement.

The matters involved the scope of weaknesses in State owned enterprises (SOEs), revisions to the 2020/21 budget and other elements of Kenya's medium term strategy.

The new funding is to be accessed through the IMF Extended Credit Facility, a program that provides assistance to countries with protracted balance of payments problems is expected to support the country's next phase of COVID-19 response.

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