Kenya's legal framework for local content in oil and gas: a case for a community centred approach
Mkalama, Rose Ndanu
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Oil and natural gas are essential to the economic development of countries. They ensure that countries have energy security which is vital for their growth. However, this study notes that most countries where oil and gas discoveries are made may not have sufficient financial and technical capacities to exploit these resources. To safeguard the benefits accruing from oil and gas resources, countries have developed local content legislation and policies to guarantee benefits for these countries and their citizens. This study argues that for proper economic development, local content policies must benefit the host state and its citizens, including the communities that live close to where extraction occurs. The study examines the Kenyan legal framework for local content in oil and gas to assess the sufficiency of the laws in protecting the interests and rights of communities living where extraction takes place. The study reviews international frameworks which lay bare the fact that local content with a community perspective has its underpinnings in international law. Based on the analysis of this study, the Kenyan legal framework is found to be insufficient in providing for local content that protects local communities. The study finds that it is crucial to have local content laws and policies that consider the interest of the host country and its citizens both at the national and local community level for economic and social development. The study has utilised secondary data to undertake the analysis of local content. The study will be critical in influencing decision-making in developing local content laws and policies that will benefit the country and its citizens. It will also contribute to research as there is scanty literature on local content with a community perspective.