6 February 2016

Kenya: MPs to Pass Law On Kenya's Mining Industry

Any minerals exploitation agreement over a $500 million threshold in Kenya will be subject to approval by parliament after a new law comes into force.

The Natural Resources Bill 2015 to be debated by Parliament will require for mineral extraction rights granted to investors under national or county legislation to be ratified.

The objective is to enable parliament to ascertain whether the right to exploit a natural resource through a permit or other authorisation was issued in accordance with the requirements of national or county government legislation.

Majority leader Aden Duale said each Cabinet Secretary will establish and maintain a register of agreements relating to natural resources and other transactions that have been ratified.

"The register shall be maintained in electronic format and any member of the public may inspect it without the payment of any fee," states section 11(2) of the Bill. The authenticated printout of the agreement will be obtained from the concerned Cabinet Secretary upon making a request and paying reasonable fee.

The Cabinet Secretary responsible for a natural resource will on an annual basis publish a report summarising agreements submitted and the status of ratification of transactions.

It is feared the Bill may trigger disputes between investors, county governments and parliament especially when a county approves an investment deal but parliament declines to ratify it.

The Bill covers extraction of crude oil and natural gas (hydrocarbons) after approval of a field development plan covering flow pipelines with other output facilities. Other transactions include extraction of hydrocarbons and minerals in wildlife conservation areas or other protected areas.

It covers extracting water in Kenya's territorial sea and underground steam in conservation or protected areas. Excision or change of boundaries of gazetted national park or wildlife protection areas will be ratified.


Calestous Juma - a Life Dedicated to Finding Answers to Africa's Challenges

Kenyan-born Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard… Read more »

Copyright © 2016 The East African. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.