Kenya will not default on its debt: President Ruto

STORY: Kenya will not default on its debt, its president has promised.

In a wide ranging interview with Kenyan media outlets on Wednesday (December 4), William Ruto also said the government plans to ramp up tax collection over the next two years.

The East African country saw public debt surge during an infrastructure construction drive - including for roads and rail - under Ruto's predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta.

Last year ratings agency Fitch warned that government debt levels and global interest rates were increasing the threat of credit rating downgrades in as many as 10 African countries.

Kenya was identified as one of those most at risk.

Since Ruto's government took over in September it has pledged to curb expensive commercial borrowing in favor of cheaper sources like the World Bank.

"We have applied the brakes on more borrowing," Ruto said on Wednesday.

He added that the government aimed to collect an extra 1 trillion shillings, or $8.1 billion, in taxes over the next two years.

The president also reiterated plans to cut 300 billion shillings, that's approaching $2.5 billion, in borrowing in the current fiscal year that runs until the end of June.