Kenya + Norway

Kenya hopes to learn from Norway’s experience in managing petroleum resources and the two nations could soon seal a long-term agreement on the matter. This was revealed at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday when Norway’s new ambassador to Kenya presented his credentials to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Victor Conrad Ronneberg said his country was pleased that Kenya had shown interest in how it manages its oil and gas resources. “We are considering a long-term agreement with Kenya’s Ministry of Energy on effective and responsible management of petroleum resources,” Ronneberg said.

Thanks to an oil industry that accounts for a fifth of the country’s economy, Norway has established one of the world’s most generous welfare models.

But with the energy boom slowing down years ahead of expectations, it is the decision to maintain a $860 billion (Sh76 trillion) rainy-day-fund that gets the attention of other nations worried about the “curse of oil”.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund — a national savings kitty that owns one per cent of the world’s equity markets — keeps growing with only about four per cent of its annual surplus spent or invested in public projects. It’s currently the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund. The money is invested in stocks, bonds and real estate and is expected to help ease the transition of the Norwegian economy after oil.

President Kenyatta said Kenya will benefit from this cooperation with Norway. “You have set an example that is worth emulating,” President Kenyatta said.

Ronneberg added that Norway intends to strengthen trade relations with Kenya. “During the past two years, Norwegian investments in Kenya have grown twentyfold to more than KShs8 billion mainly within retail, telecom and financial services,” said the envoy.

Mr Ronneberg said Norway also shares Kenya’s concerns on terrorism in the region and called for international cooperation. He spoke as he presented his credentials along with nine other new envoys.


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