Kenya is among 37 African countries that have fallen under the second phase of British control, a new report has indicated.
In The New Colonialism: Britain’s Scramble for Africa’s Energy and Mineral Resources (Reference), the authors of the report found that the UK government had coerced Kenya and other African government into handing over lucrative oil and mineral licenses to British companies.
The authors of the report published by British charity War on Want reviewed energy and mining companies listed in the London Stock Exchange and found that 101 companies controlled the bulk of Africa’s most valuable resources.
“As before, the new colonialism is driven by a determination to plunder the natural resources of Africa, especially strategic energy and mineral resources,” says the report.
In Kenya, eight British companies were found to have the most lucrative licenses in mining and energy.
Kenya’s gold deposits in the most prospective areas are in the hands of three companies. Acacial Mining PLC jointly with Lonmin and AfriOre International hold the license to explore Ndori Greenstone Belt in Western Kenya in area of 2208 square kilometres. Ndori which is in Homa Bay county is a gold rich area and locals have invested in small scale gold mining.
Red Rock Resources, which operates in Kenya through Mid Migori Mining Company, has 75 percent interest in the Migori gold belt in Migori County which has 1.2 million ounces. Just like in Homa Bay, locals in the county are engaged in small scale gold mining.
Lonmin PLC, on whose orders South Africa police killed 34 of its mine workers and injured 78 others four years ago, also has a huge stake in Kenya’s mining. The company owns stakes in all the gold mining blocks in Western Kenya (Migori, Homa Bay and Kakamega.) it also has the license for cooper, silver and zinc.
Goldplat PLC which operates in Kenya as Kilimapesa operates the only licensed gold mine in Kenya which contains 671, 446 ounces of gold.
In energy, like in mining, British companies have the most prospective oil blocks. Tullow Oil which was the first to strike oil in Kenya has controlling interest in 5 onshore oil blocks in the west and northwest which are being developed as the company’s key exploration activity; they contain 600 million barrels of oil and cover 52,531 square kilometres.
British Gas Group owns 100 percent of two offshore gas exploration blocks (L10A and L10B) while Ophir Energy has a 100 percent interest in oil exploration block L9 offshore. Premier Oil has a 55 percent interest in oil exploration block 2B in North Eastern region.
Bowleven Plc has a 50 percent interest (with Adamantine Energy) in early stage oil exploration in Block 11B in the Turkana district of the north-west, an area covering 14,000 square kilometres.
African oil, gas and minerals worth over Sh101 trillion are in the control of the 101 companies.
The report notes the British control on the resources is a result of aggressive push by UK government for its former colonies to adopt economic and trade policies that favour its companies.
“UK’s trade and investment policies are enabling British companies to access and control African resources. British governments, whether Conservative or Labour, have long been fierce advocates of liberalised trade and investment regimes in Africa that provide access to markets for foreign companies.
They have also consistently opposed African countries putting up regulatory or protectionist barriers to such trade and investment. In addition, Britain has been a major advocate for policies promoting low corporate taxes in Africa, including in the extractives sector,” says the report which was published in July.