Strategies for Highly Indebted Nations: Avoiding Over-taxation and Over borrowing

Developing nations that are heavily indebted need to find ways to reduce their debt levels without going overboard in taxing their population or taking on excessive debt. Over-borrowing can result in a debt-dependency cycle when nations take on new debt to pay off their old obligations, leading to unsustainable financial practices and possible economic instability. Countries should prioritize boosting economic development, increasing the effectiveness of tax collection, judiciously managing spending, restructuring current debt, and diversifying their economy to break this cycle.

The following are some of the strategies that a developing nation can use to get out of the hole.

Stimulating Economic Growth

Infrastructural investments and assistance for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are two efficient ways to promote economic expansion. Not only do infrastructure projects generate employment, but they also draw in foreign and domestic capital, which promotes sustained economic growth. Rwanda for example prioritized ICT and infrastructure promoting economic growth and lowering poverty (World Bank, n.d.-a) Encouraging SMEs with accessible credit and streamlining rules promotes entrepreneurship, which spurs innovation and job creation. Increased tax revenues that come with economic growth automatically minimize the need for borrowing (World Bank, n.d.-a).

President Mwai Kibaki’s administration carried out several programs and policies that considerably boosted the country’s economy. Pursuing economic reforms, such as market liberalization and the privatization of state-owned businesses, was one of the main tactics. These changes boosted economic growth and drew in foreign investment  (Mbithi & Ochola, 2019).

Additionally, Kibaki’s administration placed a high priority on infrastructure development, making significant investments in initiatives related to energy, ports, and highways. This investment increased economic growth by facilitating commerce and investment and enhancing transportation networks (Ochieng & Muturi, 2015). Kibaki’s administration also placed a strong emphasis on healthcare and education. Investing more in these areas improved human capital, which in turn produced a workforce with higher levels of skill and better health outcomes—two factors that are critical to long-term economic success. Kibaki’s administration also emphasized the growth of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry. Fiber-optic cable installation is one initiative that increased connection and encouraged entrepreneurship and innovation in the nation (World Bank, 2011)

Effective Revenue Collection

Increased tax revenues that come with economic growth automatically minimize the need for borrowing (World Bank, n.d.-a). Enhancing the effectiveness of tax collection is an additional critical tactic. Governments can lower tax evasion and improve compliance by digitizing tax processes (International Monetary Fund, 2021). It is also possible to raise revenue without raising tax rates by formalizing informal sectors, formalizing the tax base, and making sure wealthy people and companies pay their fair amount (World Bank, n.d.-b). Rwanda’s successful tax reforms have increased compliance and increased revenue collection (World Bank, n.d.-a)

Cautionary Budgetary Control

Sound financial management is crucial. Governments should examine spending to reduce unnecessary spending and give priority to vital services like security, infrastructure, healthcare, and education. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can also be advantageous because they reduce the financial load on the government for infrastructure development and introduce efficiency from the private sector (PPP Knowledge Lab, n.d.)

Strong governance standards draw international investment and promote economic stability, and Botswana has carefully managed diamond income to fund development initiatives and ensure fiscal stability (World Bank, n.d.-b). Because of the Kibakis government’s dedication to macroeconomic stability—which included careful budgetary control and low rates of inflation—businesses were able to flourish and investors felt confident in the state of the economy.

Restructuring and Managing Debt

Restructuring and managing debt are essential elements. The strain on finances might be lessened by renegotiating loan arrangements to obtain lower interest rates and longer repayment terms. Issuing long-term bonds can reduce short-term debt commitments immediately and stabilize cash flows.

To maintain sustainability, Kibaki’s administration put a high priority on debt management and put procedures in place to track and regulate borrowing levels (Ndung’u, 2006). To avoid overcommitting financial resources, the administration carefully reviewed the terms and conditions of the loans.

Economic Diversification

Increasing economic diversification is another smart move. New revenue streams can be generated by investing in non-traditional industries like technology and tourism. Increasing manufacturing and modernizing agriculture can broaden the economic base and raise exports. Profitable use of natural resources can be achieved through sustainable exploitation without diminishing resources (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, n.d.). The tourism sector in Kenya is a crucial contributor to Kenya’s economy, and can significantly be boosted by efforts to encourage tourism, including marketing campaigns and the improvement of infrastructure in popular tourist locations.

The thriving diamond mining sector, which is a major engine of Botswana’s economy, provides the nation with the majority of its diamond earnings. These proceeds, which are managed by Debswana, a joint venture between the government of Botswana and De Beers, have been successfully used to finance public services, infrastructure improvements, and attempts to diversify the economy. Sustainable development and budgetary stability have both benefited from this careful management.

Avoid Over borrowing

Instead of taking on more debt, nations should look for other sources of funding, such as attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and utilizing international grants and aid. Gaining investor trust and drawing in additional capital can also be achieved through fortifying institutions to guarantee accountability and openness in the handling of finances.

In Kenya, Mwai Kibaki’s administration put policies in place to prevent overborrowing. One important strategy was fiscal restraint, which placed a strong emphasis on a balanced budget and responsible public spending (Ndung’u, 2006). The goal of this approach was to stop the government from taking on too much debt to pay for its expenses.

In conclusion, governments in substantial debt can achieve fiscal stability without overtaxing their population or turning to excessive borrowing by implementing a multidimensional approach that prioritizes economic growth, effective tax collection, smart fiscal management, debt restructuring, and economic diversification. Governments can put policies that support long-term economic health and sustainable development into effect by implementing the aforementioned tactics.

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  1. International Monetary Fund. (2021). Digitalization and taxation. Retrieved from
  2. Mbithi, P. M., & Ochola, L. I. (2019). Government Expenditure, Economic Growth, and Poverty Reduction in Kenya: An Empirical Analysis. Journal of African Economies, 28(2), 215–236.
  3. Ndung’u, N. S. (2006). Fiscal Discipline in Kenya: The Challenge of Meeting the Millennium Development Goals. A Paper Presented at the Global Development Network (GDN) Regional Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya.
  4. Ochieng, L. O., & Muturi, W. (2015). The Role of Infrastructure Development on Economic Growth in Kenya. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 3(11), 1-14.
  5. PPP Knowledge Lab. (n.d.). Public-private partnerships. Retrieved from
  6. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (n.d.). Economic diversification. Retrieved from
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  8. World Bank. (n.d.-b). Botswana overview. Retrieved from
  9. World Bank. (2011). Kenya Economic Update: Riding the Wave in Uncertain Times. Retrieved from

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