Development in practice: some reflections on Kenya's experience
Mureithi, Leopold P.
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This paper does not aim at being a comprehensive analysis of Kenya's economic performance. Rather it singles out some aspects of Kenya's development and examines to what extent those aspects are reflected in the plan, how they have been implemented, and what has possibly been neglected which, if done, would improve the outcome of stated policies. After a brief introduction, there are skeleton statements on the main thrusts of Government policy as stated in the Sessional Paper on African Socialism and the various Development Plans. Then follow discussions on five topics. 1) On self-help, one notices tremendous will to develop on the part of the populace but that at the time self-help projects are carried out, they rarely are included in the national Development Plan before hand. The result is uncoordinated projects and inconsistent "planning". 2) Regional Balance is just at its infancy in Kenya. The action programmes up to now have been moderate, e.g. the Special Rural Development pilot projects which cover just a few areas and are inadequately financed. The implementation machinery could be improperly placed, e.g. the urban—oriented Kenya Industrial Estates Ltd. is charged with the Rural Industrialisation Program! 3) The stated employment generation intent is negated by implicit subsidies on capital as the section on "Employment and Technology" brings out. 4) In Kenya, published statistics generally cover firms with five or more employees, but small business sector (which has some "unregistered" and hence "illegal" businesses) accounts for over half of persons gainfully engaged. After a discussion of the "Formal and the Informal sectors", a case is made for the formalisation of the informal sector. 5) Section five is a critique of the planning machinery as presently constituted. The main conclusion is that development in practice may not always be the development as planned and in fact some aspects of development are not planned at all.