Kenya makes U-turn on joining G20 debt relief initiative

NAIROBI, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Kenya has changed its mind about joining a G20 debt relief initiative, its finance minister told Reuters on Wednesday, saying that the potential benefits outweighed the risks.

The East African nation had said in May it would not seek suspension of debt payments under the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), aimed at helping poor countries weather the COVID-19 pandemic, citing restrictive terms.

“We have been reluctant in the past because of the attendant unintended consequences in terms of those holding private debt,” Finance Minister Ukur Yatani said.

“But now after getting a bit of assurance that it is a matter that can be managed, we are now strongly considering joining the arrangement”, describing the matter as decided in principle. (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Catherine Evans)