China: Inroads to Kenya, “It’s a Long Road that has No Turning”

Ron Schramm

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


In Kenya, there was almost universal praise for the infrastructural work undertaken by China, whose help meant more progress (including roads, bridges, power plants and power transmission construction) since 2006 than in all the years prior going back to Kenya’s founding in 1963. Meanwhile, like quite a few other African countries, Kenya was an emerging market with some core assets, yet it had generally received abysmal credit ratings and had oftentimes been shunned by the international community as a place too risky to invest in. Therefore, China needed to consider carefully its vast investment and lending program for the country and especially the intensive efforts of Chinese construction firms in Kenya. This case describes the history of the China-Kenya relationship and the economic ties and cooperation between the two countries, the road projects in Kenya and the Chinese companies involved, Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) and Chinese group of agencies’ involvement, OECD rules, China’s loan terms in Kenya and the role of oil, and other issues. The case also identifies potential sources of market failure and/or potential defaults to be considered from the perspective of Chexim (China’s export credit agency), and examines whether China’s engagements in Kenya were appropriate when seen from a broad financial perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • Africa
  • Bank Loan
  • Credit Rating
  • Default Risk
  • Kenya

Case studies discipline

  • Economics
  • Accounting

Case studies industry

  • Construction


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