Kenya to settle Sh45 billion Eurobound debt in December, says Ruto

President William Ruto delivers the State of the Nation address at the Parliament Chambers, Nairobi on November 9,2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The government will settle the first installment of USD300 million (Sh45 billion) Eurobond debt in December, President William Ruto has said.  

The president made the announcement while delivering his first State of the Nation (SOTN) address since assuming office in September last year. 

The money is part of a USD2 billion loan that matures next year in June.

“We must admit that as a country we had been living large and way beyond our means. The time has come to retire the false comforts and illusionary benefits of wasteful expenditure and counterproductive subsidies on consumption by which we dug ourselves deeper into the whole of avoidable debt,” said Ruto. 

Cost of Living

In a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate, the President also said that enhanced maize production has led to the reduction of maize flour prices across the country. 

He claimed that a 2kg packet of maize flour is now selling between Sh145 and Sh175, down from Sh250.

“We have reduced the cost of fertiliser from Sh6, 500 to Sh2, 500 and increased maize acreage under production by an extra 200,000 acres this year.” 

“As a result of these interventions, today a 2kg packet of maize flour is selling at a low of Sh145 and a high of Sh175 depending on the brand you buy, down from Sh250 a few months ago,” said Ruto.

The Head of State further stated that he was committed to addressing the high cost of living through practical action and effective measures.

The cost of living issue has been a bone of contention for months, that resulted in weekly protests championed by the Azimio Coalition, and now, an agenda of discussion by the National Dialogue Committee. 

Additionally, the president has promised to construct 400 markets across the country to provide Mama mboga with dignified working environments. 

University charter

Ruto has also mentioned that the Open University of Kenya will admit its first 1,000 students in December. 

The country’s first virtual university was awarded a charter in August 2023.