THE national government should not scare away investors in the extractive industry with talk of royalties and taxes, a Kwale official has said.
Kwale Land executive Ali Mafimbo said the county will not benefit from its minerals if investors keep away.
He was speaking at Neptune Hotel in South Coast on Thursday during a media workshop on the extractive industry in Kenya sponsored by the Media Council of Kenya and United Nation Development Programme.
Mafimbo said it is important for the country to engage mining investors by emphasising on capacity building and corporate social responsibility.
He asked the government to address "resource nationalism", the concept where locals claim ownership of minerals (mali yetu haki yetu - our wealth our right), first.
"In Kwale we are pushing for a local content so that most of the upstream work can be taken up by the locals, meaning building their capacity is critical. Because we are tired of being told Kwale is rich in mineral while we are not in control of the same minerals," Mafimbo said.
He urged the media to educate the public on the impact of mining and lower their high expectations.
"They need to be told who they will benefit, they need to be told the truth about employment, which is not enough for everyoneand is a big challenge," Mafimbo said.