[24th December 2010]


Middle of Front Row: H.E. Mr. Ogutu, Ambassador, Right to H.E.: Mr. Hattori, Executive Officer of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Left to H.E.: Mr. Takahashi, Director of JOGMEC

Having been mandated by Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), Toyota Tsusho in collaboration with Japan Geophysical Service Company (JGI) organized a two week intensive training course on geophysical and prospecting and basin analysis for Kenyan officials from Ministry of Energy and the National Oil Corporation.

This was the first training opportunity offered to Kenya with the aim of equipping its human resource with the best practices in the energy sector. The training came at an appropriate time since increase in the generation of energy, its efficient distribution and use is essential in the achievement of the projects and programmes envisaged under Kenya’s Vision 2030 Development Strategy.

The training demonstrated the mutual collaboration between the private and public sector in line with the Government of Japan ODA Policy of strengthening cooperation with the private sector. Vision 2030 also lays strong emphasis on public private partnership (PPP).

Toyota Tsusho has been operating in Kenya since the 1960s, and apart from trading in vehicle and spare parts, they are now diversifying to investment in various fields including energy, logistics, food production and processing.

The trainees who successful completed the programme were awarded certificate of completion at a ceremony attended by His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya.

Below is the Ambassador’s speech.


20th December 2010

Mr. Takashi Hattori, the Executive Officer Toyota Tsusho Corporation

Mr. Mamoru Takahashi, the Director of Training Division
Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC)

Staff of Toyota Tsusho

Participants of the Training Programme

Ladies and gentlemen

I feel greatly honoured to join you today during this official closing ceremony of “Geophysical Prospecting & Basin Analysis” training course. At the outset, I wish, on behalf of the Government and people of Kenya, to express our gratitude to Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation who, in collaboration with Japan Geophysical Service Company (JGI), Inc have organized this two-week intensive course for geoscientists and technical personnel from the Ministry of Energy and the National Oil Corporation of Kenya.

I note that JGI Inc has a wide and extensive experience in conducting such training programmes. Hitherto, participants have mainly been drawn from South East Asia and Middle Eastern countries. This is the first time that Kenya is benefiting from such a course. We are therefore grateful for this unique opportunity availed to us. It serves to reconfirmation Japan’s close association in Kenya’s development endeavours. More importantly however, it speaks volumes of Toyota Tsusho’s prominent position in that process.
Japan has over the years been a development partner of Kenya. Currently our development cooperation focuses on five key areas namely; Economic Infrastructure, Agriculture, Health, Environment and Human Resource Development. This particular training which the Kenyan participants have been undergoing targets energy which is fundamental in the development of both Economic Infrastructure and its related Human Resource.

The energy sector is vital for Kenya’s attainment of the Vision 2030. The Vision 2030 is Kenya’s Development strategy which aims to transform the economy to a middle income country by the year 2030. Indeed, development projects stipulated under the Vision 2030 will increase demand for energy supply. Currently, Kenya’s energy costs are higher than those of her competitors. Kenya must, therefore, generate more energy at a lower cost and increase efficiency in energy consumption. The Government is committed to continued institutional reforms in the energy sector, including a strong regulatory framework, encouraging more private generators of power, and separating generation from distribution. Kenya relies heavily on petroleum, hydro power and wood fuels as the main sources of its energy requirements. However, new sources of energy will be found through exploitation of geothermal power, coal, renewable energy sources, and connecting Kenya to energy-surplus countries in the region.

We appreciate the recognition Japan has accorded the government endevours and the assistance granted towards the energy sector. Japanese recent support in this field includes the Olkaria1; Unit 4 and 5 Geothermal Power project in which Japan extended the largest loan aid amounting to approximately Kenya Shillings 23.425 billion. Japan has also extended assistance to the Sondu-Miriu/Sangoro Hydropower project, and has over the years been instrumental in the development of major infrastructural projects Kenya ranging from transportation and communication infrastructure.

On its part, Toyota has had a long business association in Kenya dating to pre-independence day’s precisely 1961. Apart from the traditional business of motor vehicles and spare parts, logistics and trading in general, Toyota Tsusho has shown keen interest in investing in the energy sector in Kenya. The Kenyan Government appreciates Toyota Tsusho continued commitment of embracing Kenya as its center of operations for the bigger market in Eastern Africa region. This is a welcome move which the government fully supports as it strives to woo more investors in various sectors. Kenya welcomes investment in alternative power generation more so wind and solar energy. Other investment areas that may be of interest are in food production and processing. We are confident that Toyota Tsusho will continue creating new businesses in Kenya and thus contribute to the development not only in the country but the sub-region in general. We wish to assure you of a conducive environment for foreign direct investment which is enshrined in our new constitution.

Looking at your Course Guide, I note that the objectives of the training programme were three-prong:

Accordingly, the course comprised three broad subjects namely: Geophysical Prospecting, Basin Analysis and Field Trips. I am sure that the participants acquired a lot in terms of knowledge, skills and expertise in this highly technical field. I am also sure that the exposure and interactions at various fora greatly enriched the learning process. Needless to observe, the field trips enabled the participants to see first-hand and gain further insights into Japan’s advancement in this field and what we could borrow for effective petroleum exploration and development in Kenya.
The permanent link which has been developed between two countries should be kept for posterity. In Kenya we say “Milima na milima haikutani lakini binadamu hukutana”, that is to say, Mountains do not meet but human beings do meet. I hope one day you shall be able to meet and share the joys of your accomplishment.


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