Kenya Gets $415mn IMF Loan
William Ruto, Kenyan President

Kenya Gets $415mn IMF Loan

Kenya has been granted access to raise a $145.4 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the executive board completed the fifth reviews under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangements for the country.

According to a statement released by the multilateral lender, the Board has also approved an extension of the EFF/ECF arrangements from the current 38 months to 48 months (through April 1, 2025).

It said this is to allow sufficient time to implement the authorities’ reform agenda, realize the program’s key objective and an augmentation of access amounting to 75 percent of quota (SDR407.1 million) over the extended program duration for balance of payments support.

The Board’s decision allows for an immediate disbursement of SDR306.7 million (about US$415.4 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangements to SDR1.51 billion (about US$2.04 billion).

In completing the review, the IMF said the board approved a modification of program conditionalities, waivers of non-observance of the continuous performance criteria on the accumulation of external arrears.

It also approved June 2023 tax revenue target in light of corrective measures taken by the authorities, and waiver of applicability for all other end-June 2023 and continuous quantitative performance criteria.

The Executive Board also approved Kenya’s request for an arrangement under the Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF) of SDR407.1 million (75 percent of quota; about US$551.4 million) to support Kenya’s ambitious efforts to build resilience to climate change.

The RSF duration will coincide with the period remaining under the EFF/ECF arrangements, as extended, IMF said. The EFF/ECF arrangements which it approved on April 2, 2021, aim to support Kenya’s program to address debt vulnerabilities, the authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and global shocks.

The amount was to enhance governance and broader economic reforms while safeguarding resources to protect vulnerable groups and address developmental needs.

IMF said the Kenyan authorities have made good progress in implementing their economic reform program despite facing the worst drought in decades and a challenging external environment.

The RSF-supported program is expected to further integrate climate-related considerations in macro policies and frameworks by adopting green public financial management and climate-sensitive public investment management reforms.

This includes introduce carbon pricing, enhance effectiveness of Kenya’s existing frameworks to mobilize climate finance, and strengthening disaster risk reduction and management.

Ms. Antoinette Sayeh, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair said, “Kenya’s economy has been resilient despite the worst drought in many decades and a difficult external environment. The ECF and EFF arrangements continue to support the authorities’ efforts to address emerging challenges to sustain macroeconomic stability and market confidence, promote growth, and advance ongoing reforms.

“While the medium-term outlook remains positive, in the near-term global headwinds continue to have a bearing on economic activity, amid elevated inflationary pressures. The authorities’ commitment to robust policies to sustain reforms that promote resilient and inclusive growth will support Kenya’s positive medium-term prospects.

“The approval of the FY2023/24 Budget and 2023 Finance Act are crucial steps to support ongoing consolidation efforts to reduce debt vulnerabilities while protecting social and development expenditures.

“However, recent challenges in resource mobilization and elevated uncertainty call for contingency plans that can be quickly deployed to ringfence fiscal performance going forward. Tighter financing conditions also require a prudent debt policy and continued efforts to prioritize concessional loans.

“The Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK) commitment to a data-dependent policy stance is essential to keep inflation expectations anchored. The CBK should also continue taking appropriate steps to strengthen its reserves position and deepen the FX market while allowing exchange rate flexibility as a shock absorber.

“Sustaining the momentum in the structural reform agenda will require prioritizing strengthening public financial management systems; management of fiscal risks from state-owned enterprises—including by enhancing their governance and oversight; enhancing the anti-corruption framework; addressing shortcomings in the AML/CFT framework; and ensuring effective expenditure audits for transparency and accountability.

“The reforms under the RSF program are expected to advance Kenya’s already strong track record at addressing climate-related challenges. These reforms will advance efforts to incorporate climate risks into fiscal planning and the investment framework, reduce emissions through carbon pricing, enhance Kenya’s existing frameworks to mobilize climate finance; and strengthen disaster risk reduction and management.”

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