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Kenya Presidential Hopeful Odinga to Negotiate Debt If He Wins Vote

  • East African nation’s debt almost at $100 billion, Odinga says
  • IMF classifies Kenya’s overall risk of debt distress as high
Raila Odinga
Raila OdingaPhotographer: Gordwin Odhiambo/AFP/Getty Images
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Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga will target improved debt repayment terms for the East African economy, saying existing obligations of almost $100 billion may force the nation to seek help from the International Monetary Fund.

The growing debt “puts Kenya in the group of the most debt-distressed middle and lower-income developing countries now being forced into IMF credit and IMF-supervised austerity programs,” Odinga said at Chatham House in London on Wednesday. “Such austerity programs are usually implemented in the sole interest of satisfying the debt repayment at the expense of people’s livelihood. We have no choice in the matter.”