13 January 2016

Kenya: U.S. Denies Direct Support for Kenya's Oil Pipeline

The US government has denied claims of direct support on Kenyan crude oil pipeline, as questions emerge on whether American taxpayers will allow their money to be piled in Kenya.

The US Embassy in Nairobi said that recent media reports of Ambassador Robert Godec pledging US financial support for an oil pipeline in Kenya are inaccurate.

In a statement on Wednesday, the US says that Mr Godec did not say that the US government would help finance the construction of an oil pipeline in Kenya.

"He expressed support for a proposal by a consortium of American companies to participate in the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (Lapsset) Corridor Project, which conceptually includes an oil pipeline component," said the statement.

Godec is then quoted to have mentioned in a January 5 meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum Charles Keter that, "a Power Africa analysis indicates that Kenya will need $14-18 billion to finance renewable energy power development, and not a pipeline."

A US publication, the Wall Street Journal on January 10 raised questions on whether US taxpayers will allow their money to be piled in Kenya.

"These cases are worth watching, especially by those who still want the US to welcome foreign investment... ... , US taxpayers will want to keep an eye out to see if their dollars are used to finance the Kenya project," says the report.

An interview with Cs Keter also revealed that the support pledged was through the, "Obama power Africa initiative."

"The US government cannot give money direct to Kenya, this will happen under the Power Africa kitty which targets all initiatives under energy," said Mr Keter in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Media reports state that Mr Godec said his government would help secure funding to a tune of Sh1.4 trillion towards the oil pipeline and power generation projects.

The announcement has since created excitement across East Africa at a time when Uganda is playing tough on partnering with Kenya in the crude oil pipeline.

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