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‘Policy Briefs’ Category

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.

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This policy brief contains highlights and lessons from the 9th ESF which discussed the legal and policy underpinnings for community engagement and its importance. The brief outlines the recommendations from the forum and also build on an institutional briefing paper that was developed to provide background to the forum. Among other things, the policy brief highlights: the difference between mere consultation with community and community engagement; the importance of meaningful community engagement; and challenges to the realization of effective community engagement. It ends with several recommendations such as encouraging all stakeholders to understand and better perform their community engagement roles, and urging that all necessary efforts be put into community engagement to be inclusive and participatory.

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On May 31st 2018, ILEG organised a county level Extractive Sector Forum (ESF) at the Cradle Tented Camp in Lodwar, Turkana County in Northern Kenya. The theme of the forum was ‘Land Rights and Land Acquisition for the Extractives Sector”. The forum was attended by officials from the National Land Commission (NLC), civil society, academia and professional working in Turkana. This policy brief summarises discussions and recommendations from the forum, as well as from other engagements and interactions with local community, government and other extractives and community development practioners in Kenya. The policy brief explores: the development model and its role in abuse of communal lands; implementation of Kenya’s land laws; procedures for land access and acquisition for the extractive industry; the role of local community structures; and the threat of the extractive industry to pastoralists, fisher folks and smallholder farmers. The policy brief gives a raft of recommendations which revolve around the need for: national and county government to speedily and diligently implement the Community Land Act, 2016; and national government to develop clear guidance on compensation and resettlement. Other include the need for: government, investors and all stakeholders to recognize, respect and work with traditional community structures during land access and acquisition processes, and to adopt the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC); and to stave off land speculators.

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This policy brief summarises key points and recommendations gathered from the 7th Extractive Sector Forum (ESF) on “Kenya Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS): What Does It Mean?”. The ESF sought to provide an opportunity to unpack the EOPS, clarify sticking issues around it, and to bring stakeholders to a common understanding. The policy brief thus discusses among other things, what the EOPS mean, concerns over its viability and the status of its implementation. It delves into some of the pertinent issues that arose from the forum such as incomplete legal reforms; lack of transparency in the EOPS implementation; non-completion of transport and other requisite infrastructure; and Environmental and social impact assessments for the EOPS. The brief concludes with key lessons and policy recommendations including need for: clarity around Kenya’s extractive governance framework; enhanced transparency; and a comprehensive and consultative environmental and social impact assessments ahead of the EOPS.

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