Machinery manufacture in the formal sector of Kenya
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For the majority of African countries the problem with the notion of 'appropriate technology' is that in the absence of endogenous technological capacity there is an almost total reliance on the acquisition of capital-goods from external sources, which in terms of configuration and capital-intensity are most likely to be inappropriate to the African industrial scenario. This is only half the story, however. Integral to the successful internalising of machinery manufacturing competence in any country is the ability to evolve the 'know-why' rather than simply the 'know-how' in mechanical engineering art. Kenya, perhaps more than most other African states, possesses a modern and expanding technology producing sector that has the potential of furnishing the workforce with an insight into the 'guts' of technological operation, so affording the capability to press ahead with local adaptations and innovations. Unfortunately, though, such a stage stands in abeyance as the majority of machine building activities are associated with the assembly rather than the manufacture of capital goods. Although small, the 'mechanical' machinery industry provides the one exception to this situation. A seedbed for indigenous technological capability may well thus exist, having been nurtured and moulded to serve the agricultural and light industrial needs of the Kenyan economy.