The TAP-Plus Approach to good governance in the oil and gas sector: legal and institutional framework for implementation in Kenya
Ndunyu, Lumen Kazuri Wanjiku
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In 2012, Kenya discovered a substantial amount of commercially viable oil and is well on the way to becoming an oil-exporting country. However, there are many perils linked to exploitation of natural resources, the most prominent being the resource curse. Many resource-rich countries find themselves grappling with corruption, bribery and rent-seeking which have made it difficult for the said countries to exhibit economic growth and development. Extensive research in this field has identified good governance as an important aspect in beating the resource curse. In an endeavor to establish how Kenya can mitigate the nullifying effects of resource abundance, this research examines the role of good governance in Kenya’s oil and gas sector. It focuses specifically on theories that support combining transparency, accountability and participation as key factors in promoting good governance. This is because growing evidence shows that adopting and implementing these concepts in isolation can lead to a lack of coordination, incoherence and fragmentation which ends up having a detrimental effect on the socio-economic development of the country. Given that Kenya currently lacks a coherent and integrated legal framework on transparency, accountability and participation in the oil and gas sector, this seems to be a ticking time bomb. The TAP-plus framework, as proposed in this research, provides a normative guideline derived from international law principles and instruments, on how resource-rich countries can achieve coordination, coherence and systemic integration of anti-corruption efforts in order to avoid the resource curse. Through a thorough desk review of existing literature, this study examines how Kenya can effectively implement the TAP-plus framework in oil and gas governance to achieve greater coherence in anti-corruption efforts. The resulting conclusion is that by adopting and implementing the TAP-plus framework, Kenya will stand a better chance of escaping the resource curse. This research and its findings will be of great assistance to stakeholders in the oil and gas sector especially when it comes to creation and implementation of laws on good governance in the sector.