Kenya on Sunday made history by exporting its first ever batch of crude oil.
President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off trucks laden with oil from the Ngamia 8 oil well in northern Kenya’s Turkana County.
Kenyatta said: “This flag-off event and the anticipated implementation of the Early Oil Pilot (EOP) Scheme marks the beginning of a long and fruitful journey.”
He said that Kenya's joining of oil exporting countries and kicking off the production of petroleum products will strengthen the existing economic and commercial partnerships and enhance the opportunities for growth and investments within the country.
“My government will therefore focus on the development of our oil and gas sectors for the betterment of the economy and people," Kenyatta added.
Landlocked countries in East Africa are set to be the immediate beneficiaries of the Kenyan oil.
Kenyatta said that his government will manage the oil well to prevent internal conflicts.
"The negative competition for oil and other natural resources has seen peaceful countries go to war. It has seen brothers take up arms against each other as mothers bury their children with no hope for the future.
"Seventy-five percent of the revenue from the production and export of oil will go to all the Kenyan people through the national government. Twenty percent will go to the county government of Turkana, while five percent is reserved for the local community."
The presidential office said that Kenya embarked on the exploration of petroleum in Turkana County in 2012. Under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme, 2,000 barrels of oil per day will be transported to Mombasa by road for eventual shipment.
Kenyatta said that Turkana region, which is among the driest places in Africa with the harshest climate, now has a bright future.
By Magdalene Mukami and Andrew Wasike in Nairobi, Kenya