Skip to main content

Kenya-Iran Oil Deal

Kenya’s move to buy Iran Oil is welcomed.

The move by the Kenyan government through the Ministry of Energy to buy Iranian oil is a welcome move. Under President Mwai Kibaki, Kenya has approached new alternative foreign policy goals with a more pragmatic economic agenda. Kenya’s foreign policy has focused more on economic diplomacy under Kibaki. This move to buy oil from Iran, a country suffering from illegal and callous sanctions from the West is testament to these new alternative policy approaches.

Iran has been under a series of economic sanctions which have targeted their oil exports. The European sanctions have among other things, placed a ban on imports of Iran oil by European Union States. This has made it difficult for other countries to trade with Iran. The US, which has been the architect of the sanctions, is now finalizing a new package of sanctions aimed at further reducing oil and other revenues used by Iran to further its nuclear program. International politics is intertwined with economics and all these factors don’t operate in a vacuum. This been said, the relations between Iran and the West should entirely influence the relations between Iran and other states and vice versa. National security and national interests are the principal categories in which strategic goals are conceived. Kenya’s strategic interests of securing long term fuel supply from Iran should be seen as sound policy goal.  Under the proposed Kenya-Iranian contract, Tehran could give an extended credit facility of 90 days, saving the country millions of shillings currently used to import expensive crude oil through overdraft facilities. This will be a long term strategic interest for Kenya and further a reorientation of her policy from the traditional West to emerging East.

Nicodemus M. Minde


Popular posts from this blog

Speculating Magufuli’s absence at Uhuru Kenyatta’s Inauguration

29 November 2017 As I drove on the Thika Superhighway on the weekend before Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration on Tuesday, the road was decorated with flags of different countries. At the foot-bridge next to National Youth Service (NYS) Headquarters, the Tanzanian flag flew sublimely. Other flags including the Nairobi City Council flag decorated the Thika Superhighway that headed towards Kasarani, the venue of the inaguration. The Office of the Government Spokesman in Tanzania, had on 24 November issued a press statement saying that President John Magufuli would attend Mr. Kenyatta’s swearing in on 28 November. Days before Mr. Kenyatta’s inauguration, NASA leader Raila Odinga, a close friend to Mr. Magufuli flew to Zanzibar, where it is reported that the two met. Mr. Odinga’s trip to Zanzibar which came a few days after he jetted back to Nairobi from an overseas trip sparked debated and controversy. On the inauguration day, Tanzania’s State-House issued a press release saying that Vice Presi…

Comment: The Politics of Party Defection in Tanzania

Political party defection is a sign of unstable party democracy and/or jockeying for political positions. Defections happen from ruling party to the opposition and from the opposition to the ruling party. In African fledgling democracies, party defections are not about ideology or philosophic underpinnings. Party switching in many African states is largely driven by ethno-demographic and religious factors. These factors have also informed political party formation. Party switching is also a strategic political manoeuvring. Despite Tanzania boasting of national parties, political party strength is largely regional. We're now witnessing a surge in party defections from across the parties.
The defection of former PM Edward Lowassa from CCM to Chadema in 2015 was monumental, especially it coming just before a general election. The election season several high-profile defections. Defections from a dominant ruling party like CCM to the opposition is always huge. CCM's single party d…