Kenya’s Ksh.3.6 trillion budget presented in Parliament on Thursday by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yattani has surpassed that of Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda combined.
This emerged even as only three out of the six-member states presented their national budgets; Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The East African finance ministers are required to simultaneously present their national budgets for the fiscal year 2021/22 as stated by the East African Community (EAC) Treaty.
Tanzania tabled a budget of Ksh.1.69 trillion while Uganda and Rwanda allocated Ksh.1.37 trillion and Rwanda Ksh.407 billion respectively.
Burundi, whose financial calendar begins in January and South Sudan were both given time by the EAC Council of Ministers to adjust the reading of their budgets in harmonize with the rest of partner states.
Rwanda did not give a reason for their delayed budget reading.
A key highlight in Kenya’s budget allocation is the allocation of a whopping KSh.1.89 trillion to the Executive, which is higher than Uganda’s entire budget which is at KSh.1.37 trillion.
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Some ministries in Kenya have been allocated money that is more than the total budget of a single country in the East African region.
For example, the Kenyan Government allocated Ksh.121.1 billion to the Health ministry which is more than the whole budget of Burundi which is Ksh.93.8 billion.
Kenya further intends to collect Ksh.1.8 trillion and seek a further Ksh.950 billion to plug the deficit which is more than the budget of Rwanda and Burundi combined.
The GDP per capita of Kenya is the highest at Ksh.196,036 with the other East African countries having as low as Ksh.21,794 GDP per capita in the case of Burundi.
As at 2020, Tanzania had the highest population in the region at 59.7 million people and Kenya at an estimated 53.8 million, according to government data.
According to the 2021 Budget Policy Statement, Kenya’s public debt as of June 2020 passed Ksh. 7 trillion.
Credit rating firm, Moodys says Kenya’s debt burden could rise to 72.6 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2023 up from 65 percent in 2020 as it affirmed Kenya’s credit rating at B2 which means it will continue to maintain a negative outlook.
Moodys says this projection could lead to financial risks unless the Country meets the ambitious fiscal consolidation targets that are part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.