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In State of the Nation Address, Kenyatta Called For Kenya to Become the World’s Next “Asian Miracle”

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of honour as he arrives at the parliament buildings for the State of address in Nairobi on November 30, 2021. Simon MAINA / AFP

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta delivered his eighth and final State of the Nation address on Tuesday and used the occasion to justify the massive expansion of the country’s debt as part of his plan to accelerate economic growth, much the same way a small group of Asian economies did in the 90s.

The President highlighted many of the large infrastructure projects financed and built by China as evidence of how he successfully led an unprecedented modernization effort of the Kenyan economy. But he made no mention of the fact that the national debt has almost doubled during his tenure from $35 billion in 2013 to $68 billion today.

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