Canada is looking to boost trade with Kenya, especially in the mining, oil and gas sectors, the East African country’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta has confirmed.
The North American nation is also set to announce a $6 million grant to help people affected by drought in areas hosting refugees.
“Canada will also support our initiative to host a major conference on the Oceans,” Kenyatta said following a meeting with Canadian Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen and UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi.
The meeting, which was held on December 20th, 2017, comes shortly after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni touched down in Kenya for a two-day State visit.
Museveni held bilateral talks with Kenyatta at a time when Uganda is Kenya’s largest trade partner in the region. The landlocked country recently announced plans to boost trade relations with its neighbouring States.
Canada’s interest comes at a time when Kenya’s oil mining and exploration industries are fairly young despite their otherwise vast potential.
Exploration in the region has mostly been led by established mining companies such as Tullow Oil, a leading independent oil and gas production company with licenses across 16 countries.
Tullow first started exploring in Uganda in 2006, successfully opening the Lake Albert Rift Basin, which has discovered resources of some 1.7 billion barrels of oil. Tehe company has since set up other operations in neighbouring Kenya.
Since 2012, Tullow’s successful exploration and appraisal drilling campaigns in Kenya have resulted in the opening of a second new tertiary rift play in the country’s South Lokichar Basin. An accelerated exploration and appraisal campaign was completed in the basin and initial assessment indicates recoverable resources of up to 750 million barrels of oil.
Canada is keen to capitalize on this potential, especially since Kenya’s Ministry of Mining confirmed that the country is rich in various precious metal and mineral deposits. Earlier this year, Kenya’s Chamber of Mines said that the country would soon begin exporting finished gemstones, breaking an age-old tradition of selling uncut minerals to foreign buyers.