Kenya Keen to Grow Investments in Energy Sector with Charter Treaty

The Government of Kenya will later this year sign the Energy Charter Treaty after observing the Energy Charter Conference in Japan, this is aimed at attracting as well as protecting investments in the sector.

Kenya’s disposition to the Treaty was confirmed at the sidelines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) in Nairobi after deliberations between Ambassador Urban Rusnak, Secretary General, Energy Charter Conference and Kenya’s Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai.

“With increased investments in Africa, we are reassuring foreign private investors that investing in Kenya and Africa is viable. It is important to realize that the key to unlocking Africa’s investment potential in the sector is the Energy Charter,” the Attorney General said.

The Energy Charter Conference, an inter-governmental organization, is the governing and decision-making body for the Energy Charter process. It was established by the Energy Charter Treaty in 1994.

The Charter seeks to enhance the rule of law in the energy sector; offering countries a multilateral platform to address challenges such as access to modern energy and energy poverty reduction.

Its objectives include development of trade in energy and energy resources enabling access to national, regional and international markets; and enhanced cooperation with various partners in the energy sector including exchange of technology information and skill.

“The Treaty allows for consistent rules of investment promotion and protection while also providing a long term interface between investors and host countries through the establishment of binding rules that streamline the investment environment,” said Ambassador  Rusnak.

Its signatories underline the importance of access to sustainable, modern, affordable and cleaner energy for developing countries to eradicate energy poverty.  They further confirm to strengthen cooperation and support initiatives and partnerships conducive to meeting these goals.
This comes as Kenya is developing infrastructure such as high-voltage power lines, pipelines and refineries for the processing and transportation of prospected oil and oil products; natural gas; and nuclear energy.
The country is also keen on the prospecting and production of coal with huge deposits having been discovered in Eastern and the Coastal regions of the country.
The energy sector faces major challenges including safety of industrial plants and protecting the environment from degradation and pollution from energy activities.
The Energy Charter underscores the need for energy security, economic protection and environmental protection while ensuring that countries achieve sustainable development.
The Energy Charter Conference will be held in Tokyo, Japan in November 2016.

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