(Xinhua) -- Kenyans have
welcomed the country’s planned oil exportation with
cautious optimism, as President Uhuru Kenyatta told
citizens that the country would not allow the resource
to turn into a curse for the nation.
on Sunday flagged off the transportation of four lorries
of the first batch of crude oil from Ngamia 8 fields in
Turkana county in the north of the country for storage
at the Kenya Petroleum Refinery, Mombasa.
The move puts the East African nation on the global
map as it joins oil producing countries, including
Uganda, its neighbor in East Africa. Kenyan leaders and
citizens have lauded the nation’s move to start the
Early Oil Pilot Scheme.
However, the key concerns are that oil export might
worsen security challenges for the East African nation,
increase corruption and overall turn out to be a problem
as it has happened in other countries in Africa.
In Nigeria and Angola, for instance, oil has become a
source of conflict for the two countries, as communities
fight over the resource.
"The economies of countries that have failed to
manage their resources have also suffered the ripple
effect of hunger and poverty among citizens.
"It is my hope and prayer that together we shall work
so that such is not visited upon us," Kenyatta said on
Kenyatta noted that Kenya would do all things
possible to avoid getting itself in conflict situations
due to oil.
(Xinhua) -- Kenyan President
Uhuru Kenyatta (2nd R, front) and his
Deputy President William Ruto (r) take part in
the inauguration of the Ngamia 8 Early Oil Pilot
Scheme in Turkana, northwest Kenya, June 3,
"The negative competition for oil and other natural
resources has seen once peaceful countries go to war.
"Brothers have taken up arms again each other as
mothers bury their children with no hope for the
future," he said, warning the Turkanas and the Pokots,
two warring communities which live where the oil fields
are located, to shun conflict.
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok called for
implementation of a law that would cover how the revenue
arising from oil is shared across the country and
communities in the region to promote harmony.
Citizens have also raised many questions as awareness
on the specifics of the pilot program remains low.
Some citizens wondered why the East African nation
was sending oil by road from Turkana to Mombasa yet a
pipeline would have been more efficient.
Others questioned why the country was exporting crude
oil instead of refining it first.
"As we celebrate early oil scheme, we used to refine
crude oil many years ago but now that we have our own,
the refinery remains closed.
"We now have to export the crude oil and import the
"Someone explain to me," Adama Said noted on Twitter,
where the oil issue was being discussed on Monday.
"I thank God that Kenya is ferrying crude oil from
Turkana, if it was refined, I can bet to my last penny
that this black gold would be sold in Nairobi by the
corrupt," said James Mutinda.
Some analysts have termed the oil export historic and
the best thing to happen in Kenya in its quest to become
"I believe with oil, Kenya is lucky as the export
starts at a time the country is undertaking various
infrastructure projects in quest to become
industrialized," said Henry Wandera, an economics
However, he warned that oil is not the only magic
bullet that Kenya needs to take off.
"We need to fight corruption so that the oil money
does not get lost in the vice.
"We also need to solve perception of exclusion of
some communities from power as this is what may turn oil
into a curse," he said.
Herman Manyora, a linguistics professor and political
analyst, asked Kenyan leaders to ensure that Kenya as a
country becomes exception by avoiding the oil curse.