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In depth: Time for a new narrative on Turkana

Reflections from K-EXPRO’s time supporting local initiatives

Maja Jakobsen

Mark Essex

This assumption of a community vs investor dichotomy is a foundational premise on which much development programming in Turkana is predicated. It needs to be challenged to allow a more constructive national development framework to emerge. The discussion is radically altered when the narrative is shifted away from a hackneyed, easy blaming of an external investor for unfulfilled local expectations to one that places responsibility for meeting local needs and expectations, especially around security, firmly on government.

This briefing note has been stimulated by the implementation of the Kenya Extractives Programme (K-EXPRO) between 2016 and 2018, where we supported local businesses and communities in Turkana to be better prepared for challenges and opportunities in the extractive sector.


Rajan Soni is a monitoring and evaluation, institutional development, and change management consultant with a long and accomplished record of designing, evaluating, and implementing aid programmes in the areas of governance, public sector reform, and private sector-led development.

Mark Essex is an economic consultant who has worked extensively on sustainability issues that impact the quality of interactions between foreign investors and host governments.