Kenya Discovers Oil, Impacts, Implications and Political RamificationsMarch 27 | Posted by David James | Intelligence News
Oil discoveries in Kenya may become a root of institutional challenges; a commonplace scenario for countries with concentrated natural resources.
Oil is a principal agent of political problems. Oil resources belong to the whole country but managed on behalf of all citizens by their Government.
However, Weak institutions that neither constrain governments nor provide accountability lead to problems such as collusion with large oil companies, rent seeking and corruption, increased political patronage, lower entrepreneurship and lower capacity for investment, increased authoritarianism and even civil conflict in countries that have discovered oil.
Oil discovered in Kenya lies in the North where conflict has been rife, in form of cattle rustling. As such chances of militancy as observed in Nigeria is limited.
Politically, policy and administration besides the ability of the country economically plays key role in establishing a structures that will oversee implementation of related activities effectively.
Kenyan politics remain confrontational with democracy gaining mileage while ethnic differences remain rife within select communities.
International Community Change of Policy
Oil finds in Kenya will add impetus on the country’s economic growth, speed up reduction of inflation, besides make the local currency stronger hence make cost of imports cheaper.
Oil find in Kenya means all manner of economic goodies for Kenya.
While this may be very good for the East African powerhouse, the international players such as United Kingdom, United States, France and other European countries may find a strong and oil rich Kenya not good for their strategic goals in the region.
Kenya’s current ranking economically and militarily is good hence influence and conflicts created to destabilize it cannot work, however, change of how key international players view and relate with Kenya will manifest.
Upon confirmation of how big are the oil deposits, a significant shift in how the West relates and views the Kenya will manifest with renewed diplomatic efforts and economic-military ties.
Kenya will be able to drill and refine oil besides export it within 2-years since it has both infrastructure and required resources to refine and export crude making the Turkana oil discovery a blessing.
Regional Politik and Economy
Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, and Southern Sudan have oil, now Kenya boasts of the black gold, there will be an economic growth bubble in the region with each country trying to achieve rapid economic growth.
The objective of the economic race is to court more investors and increase the manufacturing capability of the country thus create more jobs and investment.
Kenya leads as the economic and military powerhouse in the region hence it will not be easy for other countries to catch up with Nairobi. This may be a panacea for economic sabotage and espionage prompting conflict.
East and Central Africa Military Power
Kenya’s oil discovery is a shot in the arm to its regional military and economic power, whereby its purchasing power has gained clout edging out arms for oil concessions seen in Uganda and Tanzania with Russians.
Kenya has the purchasing capacity besides an already powerful army with one of the greatest arsenals in the East, Central, and Southern regions of Africa.
An economic bubble besides massive infrastructure, manufacturing, and agriculture development, Kenya must up its defenses to remain capable of deterring threats to such an economic stature.
This will mean expansion of its airforce besides recruitment of more troops to meet the predicted threat.
Another area where Kenyan oil will force changes is in Intelligence gathering and national security modalities since with such an economic look, the country might remain alert, ahead of the threats, and with solutions to such threats.
An expanded and more effective intelligence gathering units, better police units, and a larger well equipped military, Kenya’s economic growth will be consistent and unfettered.