It is a paradox that some countries rich in oil, gas and minerals remain poor despite their resource abundance. Political and economic problems undermine the development of such countries, consequently inhibiting good governance and democracy and empowering dictatorial regimes to reinforce political repression.
Ironically, the lack of natural resources has not proven to be a fatal barrier to economic success.
The star performers of the developing world are the Asian Tigers namely, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. They have all achieved booming export industries based on manufactured goods and rapid economic growth without large natural resource reserves.
Natural resources can greatly contribute to the national income but can also provoke and sustain internal conflicts. This can result in different groups fighting for control of the resources or using natural resources to finance their fighting. Tillow Oil discovery of commercially viable oil deposits in its TVirkana basin in 2012. These important discoveries have brought to the fore a number of key concerns including the environmental impact, irregular land transactions, corruption in awarding prospecting and mining licenses, conflicts between communities and mining companies, and lack of transparency in benefits sharing.
Kenya must put in place measures to avoid the resource curse. There is a need for adequate laws, policies and regulations to govern the extractive sector. Communal rights of the people should be clearly articulated to avoid conflict in these regions. The laws should also govern the public rights to oil and environmental issues in the extractive sector.
The global nature and scale of the oil and gas sector and the multiple players
involved increases the risk of bribery and corruption. Oil, gas and mineral exploration without good governance and responsible ethical leadership continues the scramble for Africa and the entrenchment of imperialism and neocolonialism. The extraction of the resources calls for ethical and responsible leadership and governance.