President Donald Trump has suggested deep cuts for budget allocated for Kenya in aid as part of an overall rollback in US funding for the majority of African countries.
If the proposals will be implemented, most sectors in Kenya relying on funds from the US government will feel the heat with some getting a cut of more than 50 percent.
The US has been on the forefront in the fight against HIV in Kenya through the President’s Emergency Program for Aids Relief. The program will receive 274 million US dollars, down from 441 million US dollars that were allocated in 2018.
Other health programs funded through the US Agency for International Development would be allocated 54 million US dollars, down from 82 million US dollar allocated in 2018.
Total support for development initiatives in Kenya is set to fall from 102 million US dollars that were allocated in 2018 to 43.5 million US dollars under the US 2020 fiscal year that kicks off in October 2019.
The cut in budgets from the US does not affect Kenya alone. There is a similar reduction of more than 50 percent for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. The budget allocation for the region will plunge from 1.5 billion US dollars to 665 million US dollars in 2020.
According to Whitehouse, the budget cuts are meant to help Africans stop depending on aid from the United States and, instead focus on creating their own wealth.
The China Effect
Economic analysts are of the view that the Donald Trump administration might be hitting back at some African countries after a majority of them turned to China loans and other financial assistance.
Kenya, for instance, has received more than 324 billion shillings in loans from China. Kenya has also given to Chinese companies the construction and maintaining of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) among other mega infrastructural developments.
The United States had raised concerns over China’s en routes in the continent saying that China was most likely using expensive loans to blackmail African countries and later take over strategic assets in Africa.