Competitiveness, Technology and Skills
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Competitiveness, Technology and Skills

Sanjaya Lall

This book draws together recent contributions by Sanjaya Lall – a leading authority on international investment, technology and industrial policy – on competitiveness and its major determinants. It draws upon his wide experience of competitiveness analysis in Asian and African countries and his recent work on technology and skills. It contains his most important published material as well as previously unpublished articles, and will be of interest to students, researchers and policy analysts interested in industrial development, technology and human resources.
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Chapter 11: Transfer and Development of Technology: Kenya and Tanzania

Sanjaya Lall


A. BACKGROUND INTRODUCTION This chapter examines the ‘technology system’ in Kenya and Tanzania, with a focus on the transfer of technology and its absorption and use in manufacturing industry. It analyses the main institutions supporting technology import and absorption, and compares them wherever possible to the experience of other countries in Africa and to the NIEs of Asia. It provides a strategic perspective on how governments in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) may cope with the technological needs of competitiveness, in accessing new technology and in helping local technological effort. The setting is the emerging global economy in which Africa has to compete. This means rapid technology change and intensifying competition (particularly from the low-wage industrializing economies of Asia) on the one hand, and growing liberalization within Africa and more stringent international rules of the game on the other. THE INDUSTRIAL SETTING The weaknesses of African manufacturing are well known. Growth in the past two decades has been very low and, in some cases, negative. Over 1990–97, manufacturing value added (MVA) in SSA, excluding South Africa, grew at only 0.1 per cent per year. This was at a time of dynamic industrial growth in other developing regions, with many countries using manufacturing to drive a rapid structural transformation of production and comparative advantage. The share of SSA in global MVA has remained constant since 1980 at under 0.4 per cent (UNIDO, 1999). Even this low level of activity is highly concentrated: in 1998, South Africa by itself accounted for 55 per...

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