Several concerns have been raised about the state and performance of energy sector in Kenya. The concerns touch on a range of issues including among others, escalating consumer prices, unreliability of energy supplies, entry barriers for provision of services, collusions and environment concerns. These complaints come at a time when the sector has witnessed the disintegration and consolidation of a number of operations and segments in the sector. In the power sector, consumer tariffs are relatively high and out of reach for the low-income group majority of who live in the rural areas. Kenya’s electricity tariffs do not compare well with major trade competitors.
The petroleum industry does not fair any better. Today, the petroleum industry is constrained by limited supply of fuels including LPG, domestic production of motor fuels which do not meet internationally quality standards, inadequate distribution infrastructure in remote areas, price leadership which inhibits competition and insufficient legal and regulatory framework to guide the sub-sector operations in consonance with international best practice.
Structural changes in the energy sector brought about by the privatisation process have not done enough to improve competitive conditions in the sector and enhance consumer welfare despite the existence of competition laws and sector regulations.
It is in this regard that CUTS International, Centre for International Trade, Economics and Environment, Nairobi has commissioned a study entitled ‘Competition Policy and Domestic Regulatory Framework in the Energy Sector in Kenya: Experience and Lessons Learnt’. This Study is envisaged to:
- assess the institutional framework of the national competition policy and the regulatory structures
- review and evaluate the competition policy and regulatory framework of the energy sector in light of energy sector reforms
- undertake a comparative analysis of competition and regulatory framework in energy sector in other countries
- Project Report Competition in Energy Sector in Kenya
- COMPETITION LAW IN KENYA – A Snapshot
- Dissemination workshop on “Regulatory and Competition-related reforms in Kenya’s Power and Petroleum Sector
Nairobi, Kenya, October 21, 2009
- Validation Workshop on Competition Policy and Regulation in Kenya’s Energy Sector
Nairobi, Kenya, July 03, 2009
- Scoping Workshop on Competition Policy and Regulation in Kenya’s Energy Sector
Nairobi, Kenya, November 20, 2008
InIn 2006, the Heads of State assented to the EAC Competition Act, 2006. The Act seeks to promote and protect fair competition within the Community, to provide for consumer welfare, and to establish the East African Community Competition Authority. If implemented effectively, the Act would promote private sector development, economic growth and poverty reduction in the EAC integration process.
However, there has been little progress in its implementation, even after 10 years of being in existance. This raises a concern across the region, especially, at this stage where the region is implementing a Common Market, which seeks to increase cross-border trade and investments and present consumers with an expanded market and choice. One of the key reasons attributed to the slow progress in the implementation of competition policy and law in the region is the limited awareness among key players/stakeholders on the importance of such policy. Other reasons include political economy and capacity constraints.
It is against this background that CUTS International, Nairobi with support from Trade Mark East Africa, is implementing this project, ‘Accelerating Implementation of EAC Competition Policy and Law’ to assess the challenges in the implementation of EAC Competition regime and highlight its implications. Such evidence would be used to engage with national stakeholders and regional decision-makers to push the process of establishment and operationalisation of the EAC Competition enforcement agency.