If you must force foreign firms to cede shares to locals, do so transparently
The value of forcing foreign investors to cede shareholding to locals in some of these new ventures cannot be gainsaid
When, as a foreign investor, you allow local citizens to own a stake in your company, you have more or less bought insurance against being accused of coming here to exploit resources and repatriate profits abroad
However, it is grossly unfair to force this rule on existing mining companies. In civilised societies, you don’t effect regulations retroactively
If you force the Australian investor to sell 35 per cent of its shares right now, you compromise the agreements signed with lenders
Secondly, if we want to force mining companies to cede 35 per cent to locals, why don’t we do it transparently?
If you are the proprietor of a foreign company wishing to invest in the mining sector in Kenya, you have to be prepared to sell 35 per cent of the shareholding to a Kenyan citizen.