O desafio dos recursos do Quénia

OXFORD – O Quénia exporta energia há vários anos - na forma de alguns dos corredores de longa distância mais rápidos do mundo. Mas o Quénia irá brevemente exportar outro tipo de energia, muito mais rentável, visto estar a explorar uma série de campos de petróleo recém-descobertos na sua região do Grande Vale do Rift, com cerca de 724 quilómetros de extensão, uma fenda na crosta terrestre que se estende do Líbano até Moçambique.

Os países africanos têm muita experiência com as desvantagens de serem dotados de grandes recursos. O Quénia tem de aprender com estes casos, a fim de impedir que as suas novas riquezas de petróleo passem a rasteira à África Oriental na sua ostentação precipitada em direcção à união monetária.

As riquezas são de facto muito grandes. Nos últimos dois anos, mais de 1,7 mil milhões de barris de petróleo foram descobertos debaixo da bacia Lokichar. As estimativas variam muito, mas podem chegar aos 20 mil milhões de barris - um volume que faria do Quénia um dos países mais ricos de África em recursos naturais, a seguir à Nigéria, que tem 37 mil milhões de barris de reservas autenticadas. Perto dali, o Uganda descobriu 3,5 mil milhões de barris e a Tanzânia descobriu vastas reservas de gás natural.

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