Kenya discloses secret contract with China
Islam News – Kenya shared details of a loan agreement it signed with China in 2014 to build a railway, which has since become associated with debt, dysfunction and criminal inquiries. (The railway starts in the coastal region but ends abruptly in the middle of nowhere.)
In a major step toward transparency and political accountability, President William Ruto published documents on Sunday that revealed how the railway’s financier, Exim Bank of China, had the upper hand in the negotiations. The loan’s terms were also costlier than expected, an economist said.
But the disclosure could come at a price, straining Kenya’s relations with China, its top trading partner. Kenya owes more bilateral debt to China than to any other nation.
Context: The $4.7 billion project was over budget by millions of dollars and became the center of multiple criminal investigations. Kenyan judges eventually declared it illegal.
Analysis: Experts said the revelations were unprecedented, as Chinese loan contracts are often shrouded in secrecy.
Source: The New York Times