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Kenyans rush for state loans hours after launch

President William Ruto during the launch of the Hustler Fund at Green Park, Nairobi. (Photo: Nation).

More than a million Kenyans have registered to a government loan scheme targeting the youth and informal traders just a day after its launch

The scheme, known as the Hustler Fund, was launched by President William Ruto on Wednesday and has already disbursed over 400m shillings ($3.3m; £2.7m) to borrowers.

Local media quoted the minister for co-operatives as citing an uptake of the loans, with up to 600 transactions per second, hours after the launch – which eased later.

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Borrowers are able to access the money by dialling a USSD code or using an application on their mobile phones.

The loans start from between $4 (£3) and $408 for individual borrowers. Loans for groups and small enterprises will be launched at a later date.

Borrowers are expected to repay the loan within 14 days, and an annual interest of 8% calculated per day will be charged.

The fund was a key campaign promise by the president who came to power in September.

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He has touted the fund, which targets more than eight million people, as one that will give a lifeline to youth, women and low income groups who cannot access loans from commercial lenders.

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