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Kenya planning to export 400,000 barrels of crude oil during 2019

Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya is expected to export 400,000 barrels of crude oil in 2019, becoming the first east African nation to export oil to the international market, a government official said on Tuesday.

Andrew Kamau, principal secretary in the ministry of petroleum and mining told journalists in Nairobi that the oil sales are being conducted under the early oil pilot scheme (EOPS) which seeks to establish a market for Kenyan oil.

"The first batch of 200,000 barrels of oil will be exported in the third quarter of 2019 and second will be sold towards the end of the year," Kamau said.

Kamau said that most of Kenya’s oil will be sold in Asia.

He revealed that under the EOPS, which is being undertaken jointly by Tullow Oil, Africa Oil and Total Oil, the country will be producing 2,000 barrels of oil daily from its oil blocks in northwest Kenya.

"However when the country attains full commercial production, output is expected to range between 70,000 and 80,000 barrels of oil daily," he added.

The government official said that Kenya will export its petroleum resources as its oil refinery has been shut down because it is inefficient.

According to the ministry of petroleum, crude oil will be transported by road and until the proposed Lokichar to Lamu port oil pipeline is complete.

Kenya discovered commercial oil deposits in 2012 and are currently estimated at 750 million barrels of oil.

Kenya investor lobby secure US $1.5 million dollars to boost regional trade

by Naftali Mwaura NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) on Tuesday signed a 150 million shillings (1.5 million US dollars) financing agreement with Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) to boost cross-border trade and investments.

Senior executives said the funding will support implementation of KEPSA’s five year public-private sector dialogue that aims to improve conditions for local companies to expand operations across the East African region.

"The new grant will boost policy interventions aimed at catalyzing growth of trade and investment opportunities for Kenyan businesses in the region," said Brenda Mbathi, a board member at KEPSA.

She said that KEPSA is keen to promote dialogue with governments, investors and civil society to address regulatory bottlenecks that have slowed down cross-border trade and investments.

According to Mbathi, KEPSA public private sector dialogue program aims to achieve a 10 percent reduction in the cost of transporting goods across the borders.

The program also involves lobbying for reduced tariffs and enhanced clearance of goods through digitization.

Frank Matsaert, the chief executive officer of Trade Mark East Africa said that Kenya’s private sector has potential to expand tentacles in the region subject to creation of platforms that foster dialogue with governments.

"Building platforms where the private sector is able to voice issues that are pertinent to the business environment is critical.

"We are glad to partner with KEPSA to make sure that dialogue takes place," said Matsaert.

Ahmed Farah, TMEA-Kenya Country Director said facilitating local private sector to trade and invest across the borders will boost economic growth and job creation.

"The private-public sector dialogue for trade and investment program that will give a voice to the private sector is aligned with our interest to catalyze a 25 percent annual increase in exports and job creation through improved investment incentives," said Farah.

Meanwhile, the East African Business Council (EABC) has secured 3 million U.S Dollars from Trade Mark East Africa to support advocacy aimed at reducing barriers to trade.

Peter Mathuki, chief executive officer of EABC said the grant will support harmonization of customs and taxation regimes in order to ease movement of goods and services across the borders.

United Nations says private sector key to achieve sustainability agenda in Kenya

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya should harness capital, technologies and manpower from the private sector to hasten attainment of sustainable development goals (SDGs), a UN official said on Tuesday.

Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative in Kenya said the government should partner with businesses to scale up investments that advance inclusive and green growth.

"The private sector in Kenya can tap into investment opportunities that sustainable development goals provide especially in areas like healthcare, education, affordable housing and food security," said Chatterjee.

He spoke at a forum on the role of businesses in the promotion of UN 2030 goals organized by Kenya’s telecommunications firm, Safaricom ahead of launch of its annual sustainability report later in the week.

Chatterjee said that a conducive policy and regulatory environment is a prerequisite to facilitate private sector investments in sectors that promote equitable growth and environmental sustainability.

"Both large and medium-sized enterprises can channel investments in maternal health, clean water, shelter and climate resilient farming. Such investments will have positive economic and social impacts," said Chatterjee.

He said that universal health coverage that is part of Kenya’s four development blue prints present myriad investment opportunities to the private sector.

"We require businesses to invest in technologies and innovations that seek to expand coverage to both preventive and curative healthcare in rural areas," said Chatterjee.

He urged businesses to be at the forefront of climate response in Kenya through investments in green energy solutions like solar and wind.

Sanda Ojiambo, head of corporate responsibility at Safaricom said that Kenyan listed companies have embraced sustainable practices given their financial and reputational benefits.

"We are convinced that long-term sustainability of our business is dependent on adoption of practices that promote environmental health, gender parity, diversity and innovations," said Ojiambo.



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