Discuss the Colonial policy towards industrialisation


Colonial policy towards industrialisation


The large increase in British aid to the colony in 1955 which amounted to £10.8 million was part of the post Mau Mau solution for developing infrastructure and agricultural production in the African reserves. Kenya was on the eve of large scale industrial development. The colonial government in 1950s offered special inducement to investors in Kenya including the provision of infrastructure, such as roads and water supplies. Inducement also included subsidies, tax concessions and monopolistic privileges which were offered to overseas enterprises who settled in Kenya.
Various government bodies were created in Kenya to foster industrial development e.g. industrial management board established under the Defence Regulation in 1944 to supply the armed forces with manufactured items such as crockery, sulphuric acid for batteries, pyrethrum and extract for cooking fat.
There was the East African industrial management Board and the East African industries Ltd engaged wood workings, bricks, ceramics and tiles.
There was also Industrial Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) established in 1954 designed to facilitate the industrial and economic development of the colony by initiating, assisting or expanding industrial, commercial and other undertakings in the colony.
Most of the funds flowed rapidly into the manufacturing sector especially import-substitution projects i.e. manufacture goods locally, those which used to be imported.
Asian merchant capital was confined within urban boundaries. The Asians invested in the western Kenya.
It is estimated that in 1958 more than 1/3 of privately owned assets in Kenya was owned by non-Kenyans. By mid 1950s foreign firms were manufacturing a wide variety of industrial products including shoes and leather, cement, paint, metal containers, vehicle parts, fruit, soft drinks, bicycle tyres and tobacco. Most industries were oligopolies (owned by a few). BAT established a monopoly over production and distribution in all three East African countries since 1930s.
Other dominant firms (industries) after independence in Kenya included Firestone tyres, British Oxygen, Lyons Maid and Gilbeys, Bamburi Portland Cement (1953), EA Bata Shoe Company (1958), Finlay Industries in charge of brushes and wooden articles (1952), EA Oil refinery (1961) for paints and varnishes, EA Breweries (1952), Del Monte (1965). In sum, the type of capitalist expansion which took place in Kenya after the WW2 was determined by a fusion of internal and external forces.
As a result, the Kenyan economy has become depend on external capital for her development.
The average Kenyan is not wealthy and does not possess western style amenities like the political bourgeoisie.
Disparity in wealth distribution is outstanding - most people work in sustenance agriculture. The rich own and control the large-scale farms in areas with fertile land.
The agricultural systems is still inequitable and biased towards the rich Kenyans with little farms. According to Bradshaw (1990) irregularity is evident in the distribution of farm land, the flow of capital in and out of agriculture and the class structure that perpetuate this situation. The Kenyan state remains closely aligned with elite interests in both rural and urban areas, thereby maintaining an unproductive organic system that contributes to under-development.
The Kenya government has consistently formulated polices that maintain adverse terms of trade for agriculture. The government granted MNCS subsidiaries a high level of protection for their investments.
The worst poverty in Kenya is caused by landlessness and unemployment. A well-entrenched African elites resist land reforms to perpetuate a capitalist system that undermines the poor.
Karl Marx (Das Kapital) (1966)
Capitalism - the production of goods for exchange by capitalists who combine capital and land which they own with labour power which they buy from free property less workers.
It centres on exploitation of the labour power of free wage labourers.

jerop5614 answered the question on January 9, 2019 at 08:40

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