The April 2013 announcement of oil discovery and other minerals has propelled Kenya as a new player in the global market for hydrocarbon and valued minerals. The International Monetary Fund ( IMF) projects that oil production in Kenya is expected to start in six to seven years from now, giving the country time to prepare to manage its endowment to the achieve its development goals as stipulated in the 2030 Vision. In addition to oil, Kenya is also rich in gas, rare earth metals , coal, iron ore, gold, limestone, gypsum, soda ash, gemstones, manganese ore, fluorspar, diatomite, titanium, zircon, chromite, niobium and silica sand. Most recently, Cortec Mining Kenya Limited has announced that Mrima Hills in Kwale County has one of the largest rare earth mineral deposits in the world with a potential in -ground value of up to US $62.4 billion dollars.
Kenya’s non-renewable resources have been discovered in areas with high levels of poverty, cyclical droughts, insecurity and inhabited by minority communities who have historically been marginalized.
UNDP’s Draft Corporate Strategic Plan 2014-2017 highlights the effective management of extractive industries for sustainable human development as a key priority. UNDP also recently approved its Extractive Industries Global Strategy to systematise and scale-up its work in this area.
From this Strategy, the “Global Initiative on Extractive Industries for Sustainable Development” was developed to operationalize the Strategy and to respond to growing demands in extractive Industry work in a systematized and timely manner.
At the regional level UNDP has already brought together policymakers and legislators to harmonize legal frameworks on extractive industries in East Africa. Furthermore, an upcoming Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) programme titled “Harnessing Extractive Industries for Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa”, based in Addis Ababa, aims to reinforce the African Peer Review Mechanism to support governance, accountability and transparency of extractive industries.
The programme will also build the capacity of the African Union’s African Minerals Development Centre by operationalizing a Rapid Response Facility to provide demand driven support to meet countries’ financial and technical assistance.