From Rhetoric to Genuine Pursuit of Transparency and Accountability in Kenya’s Extractives Sector: Policy Brief No. 4 of 2018
Transparency and accountability are a central pillar of the good governance framework required to catalyse the extractive sector’s contribution to Kenya’s socio-economic development. Indeed, the need for greater accountability in Kenya’s extractive sector is well acknowledged by all stakeholders including government, oil and gas and mining companies and local community members. But despite this widespread recognition, concerns over lack of
openness, free flow of information, secrecy of mining and oil & gas contracts and accountability issues abound in the sector. This has led to perceptions that there is more rhetoric than actual work to expand extractive sector transparency and accountability in Kenya.
It is against this backdrop that the 10th Extractive Sector Forum (ESF) sought to unpack the meaning of transparency and accountability from the different extractive sector stakeholder perspectives, clarify key issues for transparency and accountability, and bring stakeholders to a common understanding. The ESF also sought identify practical solutions and ways to meaningfully improve transparency and accountability in Kenya’s extractive sector. This Policy Brief highlights the discussions and recommendations from the forum. The discussions are centred on four key issues: the role of global and regional voluntary mechanisms for transparency and accountability; the legal and policy framework for transparency and accountability in Kenya’s extractive sector; political will to realize transparency and accountability; and role of the media in promoting transparency and accountability. Recommendations include: encouraging civil society organizations to keep putting pressure on the government to implement voluntary mechanisms for transparency and accountability, as well as encouraging the government to demonstrate its commitment to improving transparency and accountability in the sector.