Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2013

Dr Kituyi’s speech at the Oil &Gas Press Launch

KituyiEAOGS 2013 Press Launch, August 29th, Sankara Hotel, Nairobi, Presentation Transcripts

Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, General Secretary UNCTAD
Former Chairman, Global Event Partners (K) Ltd

Ladies and Gentlemen,

July last year we had a launch of the Global Event Partners East Africa Oil and Gas Summit in Nairobi at the Serena Hotel. At that time, you could tell everybody the exciting news about Turkana, you could say nice things about what happened in the oil fields and talk about all the good things about gas in Tanzania and Mozambique. But everybody was having anxiety that Kenyans have these rituals of violence at the elections and we will not recognize this country. Everybody was hesitating to take a position. The future ambitionwas drying up. It is very exciting for us that over the next year, not only has Kenya gone through a peaceful election, but that the political establishments and the intelligencia has started appreciating the importance of priming up the hydrocarbons sector as a driver of wealth creation and regional integration.

I was particularly happy to notice the new found attention has been given to shared experiences and shared thinking among the leaders of East Africa on the way forward for the petroleum industry. I just want to share one thing and I will give the opportunity to our Guest of honor to speak to us; East Africa is becoming an important hydrocarbon’s province, the world’s attention is turning here. They have it upon the leaders of East Africa to resist the temptation for bad manners in two ways:

Way number 1: creating a foggy environment for contracting on the petroleum industry unpredictable conditions easily revisable contracts or rushed contracting, nothing that a person can take home or take to the bank because your word, we don’t know whether you will keep it or not.

And secondly, as we move to see an important contribution from petroleum in this region, avoid the cost of certain countries across this continent, where you stifle for a diversified economy, you over depend on one sector, you create an abnormally strong currency which stifles sectors, particularly agriculture. Kenya is too diversified, keep it that way. Uganda is diversifying, sustain that momentum. But the last thing I said is this; all industry players should not look to governments to set the best standards, it’s about time East Africa, particularly East African community, investors in East Africa, thought leaders in East Africa started looking to set up some economic governance observatory, which will monitor transparency in contracting and whistle blow abuse of office. In a way you reduce the cost of doing business for everybody. In a way you avoid this and we won’t make mistakes that we then come to complain about them later.

I am excited that we have built a momentum that has run up to our event on this year. I very much hope that you pull off a good event – coming October- and invite everybody. Let us own the process of exploiting the potential that comes from the petroleum industry in this region. Let’s encourage others to read and see the good story.


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Dr Kituyi’s speech at the Oil &Gas Press Launch
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