NAIROBI—The Government of Kenya says it will prioritize oil exploration in the third five-year Medium Term Plan (MTP) which runs from 2018 to 2022, an official said Thursday.
Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat Director General Julius Muia told Xinhua in Nairobi that the oil sector has been identified as a key sector that will drive Kenya’s economy in the future.
“We will prioritize investments into the oil exploration given that Kenya has so far discovered deposits that can be exploited commercially,” Muia said on the sidelines of a business forum organized by the University of Nairobi.
The East African nation discovered commercial deposits of oil in 2012 and so far at least 1 billion barrels of oil have been identified in Northern west Kenya.
Kenya plans to begin exporting crude oil this year using road and rail transport to ferry the product to the port of Mombasa.
He noted that the preparations of the third MTP that will guide the implementation of the National Development Blue print, Vision 203, are almost complete.
The First and Second MTP prioritized infrastructure development given its role in catalyzing economic growth. Muia said that Kenya will also establish a regional commodities exchange as part of the third MTP.
“The exchange will provide a platform for farmers and mineral producers in the region to sell their products directly to customers,” he noted.
The director general added that the exchange will take advantage of Kenya’s position as a regional economic hub.