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Kenya plans for dialogue to promote
equitable sharing of mineral wealth

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government has embarked on a dialogue process with communities to come up with a viable formula of sharing proceeds of mineral, oil and gas extraction, an official said on Tuesday.

John Munyes, the Cabinet Secretary for Petroleum and Mining, said that structured dialogue with communities where extraction of minerals and hydrocarbons is ongoing will help end spat over sharing of wealth accrued from these resources.

“The government is committed to ensure that communities accrue benefit from the nascent extractive industry in the country. We are engaging county governments and local communities to resolve conflicts over allocation of mineral wealth,” said Munyes.

He spoke in Nairobi during the inaugural national mining, oil and gas conference convened by a consortium of grassroots campaigners advocating for sustainable exploitation of natural resources.

Senior policymakers, representatives of multilateral agencies and green advocates, attended the three-day forum whose goal is to revitalize dialogue on equitable sharing of revenue accrued from extraction of precious metals as well as oil and gas.

Munyes said that enactment of progressive legislation and policies coupled with public education will ensure Kenya avoid the resource curse that has affected many African countries.

“Our constitution is clear that public participation must guide exploration and development of mineral resources to ensure they benefit communities while protecting their environment,” said Munyes.

Kenya’s mining act that was enacted in 2016 provides guidelines on how royalties in regions where mining activities are taking place will be disbursed.

John Omenge, the Principal Secretary in the state department of mining, said that mining companies are obliged to commit a minimum of 1 percent of their revenue to support livelihood projects.

“Besides compensating land owners, the government in conjunction with mining firms has prioritized development of social amenities like schools and health centers to ensure communities benefit from oil drilling and mineral extraction,” said Omenge.

He said the government has engaged key stakeholders to end impasse over sharing of revenue accrued from drilling of oil in the northern county of Turkana.



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