Scientific and Technological Information Support to Industrial Development in Kenya with Emphasis on Inter-institutional Co-Operation

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Addis Ababa University


The importance of information in development has been accepted internationally. The present study examines the ways of providing scientific, technological and managerial information, development in Kenya. necessary for industrial The document reviews the industrialization process in Kenya from the early part of this century and more particularly durinq the post';'lndependence period. I'"n this context, consideration has been given to: the structural adjustments programmes and policies adopted by the government, and the role of small scale industries in national economy. The institutions that support industrialization is also discussed. Problems that hamper industrialization, such as, technology transfer methods and modalities adopted; lack of industrial information support systems; lack of appropriate policies; manpower, managerial and financial resources; inefficient co-ordination mechanism; and the complex patenting procedures, are reviewed. Technology transfer to developing countries with emphasis on Kenya, is discussed and the impediments to the process are mentioned. The deficiency of information support services in Kenya for efficient and effective transfer of technology to small enterprises in particular is pointed out. The information needs of industries are discussed with due consideration of information for management, market information and financial information. Existing Information systems specifically to promote industrialization in Kenya include the Kenya scientific ft Information,- Documentation and Communication Centre (KENSIDOC), Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI) library, Investment Promotion Centre (IPC) Information Centre, and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry library. Their a ctiv ities are briefly reviewed . The results of the study shows that the c o-ope rati on between the institutions responsible for the promotion of industrial development in Kenya is weak; and their linkages with the industries are also weak. The information systems set up to provide i ndustrial information are not providing appropriate information services, such as, the current awarenes s e rvices(including selective dissemination of information), information analysis and consolidation, database services and translation services. The Kenya Scientific Information, Documentation and communication Centre (KENSIDOC) is seen to have a major role in the. provision ot scientific and technological and related information to the small enterprises and other organizations concerned with industrialization in the country. The .. st.udy examines through , ,!,)t;, ~:e sy.ste~s i\nalysis the features and ' factors of the Centre that need strengthening and enhancement to enable it perform its functions efficiently and effectively, and apropriate recommendations are made. A prototype database consisting of profiles of institutions, experts, research projects, information Systems and bibliographic records, and another database of relevant national regulations (mainly industrial laws and r egulations) has been created. The prototype database can be adapted by KENSIDOC and other information systems that provide information to entrepreneurs, researchers, government executives, etc. The thesis concludes with recommendations to assist in the promotion of industrial development in Kenya.



Technological Information Support