Institute for Security Studies and Hanns Seidel Foundation Seminar, Nairobi
Oil and Gas Discoveries in Kenya and the Region: Opportunities and Challenges
Tuesday 6 November 2012
10h00 to 13h00
East Africa, and Kenya in particular, is increasingly developing into an important hydrocarbon region. With proven reservoirs and heightened exploration activity, the region is hoping for an oil boom and the attendant profits. In ideal circumstances, the oil and gas resources in Kenya and the region should become engines of stability, economic growth and improved governance. Looking at experiences elsewhere on the continent, however, there is a danger of the ‘resource curse’ syndrome, which counsels about the perils of hydrocarbons turning into sources of instability and ecological catastrophe. Indeed, the dismal track record of Africa’s oil producers has led to concerns about the possibility of Kenya and the greater region falling victim to Africa’s paradox of plenty. There are already emerging concerns about territorial disputes relating to Kenya and the region linking to the discovery of natural resources.
As Kenya in particular draws increasing interest from major oil companies, the question is: what are the short- and medium-term projections for oil and gas discoveries, and what are the geostrategic implications? Significantly, what policy options should Kenya pursue to avoid past development failures associated with petroleum and to militate against potential conflict? This seminar will examine these questions, among others, with the aim of offering policy recommendations on improving outcomes of oil and gas production in Kenya and the region.
At the ISS office at Braeside Gardens on Gitanga Road in Lavington.