Kenya And Algeria In Talks For Trade Partnerships

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The Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya, Moses Masika Wetang’ula, discussed the possibilities of trading commodities between Kenya and Algeria with the Ministers of Energy and Mines, Mr. Mohamed Arkab and the Minister of Trade and Export Promotion, Mr. Kamel Rezig.

While engaging the Minister of Energy, Wetang’ula indicated that Kenya was exploring possibilities of producing oil though in an initial stage and needed collaboration in capacity building on oil exploration and processing.

“Kenya has discovered oil resources but just at the initial stages of discover and research. Algeria having traded in oil for many years, will be of help to our country in aspects of remaining and exchange of experience in the sector”, said Wetang’ula.

He indicated that technological skill transfer will help speed up the process of oil discovery in Kenya, lowering the country’s skyrocketing fuel prices.

The Algeria Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr. Mohamed Arkab, expressed his gratitude for the courtesy call and acknowledged the need for strengthening business ties with Kenya. He painted an overview picture of the energy sector in Algeria while elaborating on three elements of oil production and processing: exploration, processing and commercialization.

He further explained that the Algerian-owned Sonatrach company is the biggest oil company in Algeria and one of the oldest in Africa has existed for more than 50 years and that, over the period, it has put in place many mechanisms, for example, some training centres.

“Algeria would be very happy to welcome our bothers from Kenya to have an exchange of delegation in terms of training there specialists in oil field,” he noted.

He further informed the Kenyan delegation led by Speaker Wetang’ula that the Sonatrach oil company was willing and ready to operate with many African countries like Mali, Niger and Libya and that they had already started engaging Niger and were in the oil exploration phase.

“Our production of oil is 1.7Million tons of oil in a year in Algeria. We have a net of transportation of hydrocarbon from the south of Algeria. We have dedicated more than 25, 000 terminals and 6 shipping boats to oil transportation. In addition Algeria produces 3 million tons of petrochemical products among them the uree 46 and has a huge capacity in electricity and Gas Company named sonalgaz,” explained Mohamed.

He underpinned that Algeria is keen to transform its consumption from diesel to hybrid. It currently has 33 centres in the south and 60 in the North working on the diesel transformation to photovoltaic energy.

Speaker Wetang’ula appreciated the willingness of the Minister of Energy to build capacity for the oil sector in Kenya and called for the transfer of skills through trainings and exchange programmes to enhance operations of the industry in Kenya.

In a meeting with Mr. Kamel Rezig, Minister of Trade and Export Promotion, Speaker Wetang’ula highlighted the Kenyan products as he shared Kenyan-made Tea and Coffee with the Minister to experience the real taste of the products.

“Kenya and Algeria have many common things drawn right from their history, the geographical location should not be a barriers in sharing our countries produce and taste of culture”, Speaker Wetang’ula.

The Speaker noted that Africa is required to deal with trade barriers, including legislation and transportation methods that pause bottlenecks in transacting business in the continent.

On his part, Mr. Kamel Rezig said he was delighted about the Kenyan delegation’s visit and expression of interest in conducting business with Algeria. He indicated he was ready to revive the already excited cordial relations between the two countries to enhance bilateral engagement by establishing a business economic council to establish areas of strategic engagement for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

He acknowledged that the formation of the Kenya – Algeria Friendship Group was added advantage to help propagate the trading Agenda between the two countries.

Algeria commands a huge energy sector as an oil-producing country in the continent. At the same time, Kenya is big in producing and exporting tea, coffee, nuts, and flowers, among other products that the two countries can mutually benefit from each other.

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