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Performance and dynamics of African firms : a comparative analysis of garment firms in Kenya and Bangladesh

Author: Fukunishi, T

Awarding University: University of London, England

Level : PhD

Year: 2013

Holding Libraries: Institute of Commonwealth Studies, England ;

Subject Terms: Labour ; Exports ; Clothing industry ; Labour economics ; Bangladesh ;


This thesis attempts to understand the causes behind the stagnation of the African manufacturing sector based on comparative case studies. We specifically compare the garment industries in Kenya and Bangladesh, which have similar endowments including income per capita and business environment, but contrast in the development of the typical labour-intensive industry. Our comparison between countries with similar endowments simplifies the causes of the divergent performance, since it effectively controls possible reverse causation. Additionally, the focus on a labour-intensive industry demonstrates obstacles at the early stage of industrialisation. The fact that the Kenyan industry had growth opportunity in the period of analysis, from 2002 to 2008, makes the comparison meaningful. Using firm data and in-depth interviews, the comparison is based on a microeconomic perspective so that it incorporates firm heterogeneity. The main analysis is extended in three chapters. Sources of the competitiveness gap between the two industries are explored in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 demonstrates the dynamics of non-exporters in Kenya, while the dynamics in the export market, namely export participation, are analysed in Chapter 6. We found that the most influential source of the competitiveness gap is labour cost rather than productivity; the wages in Kenya are far higher than those in Bangladesh. Due to the large cost gap, the Kenyan garment industry experienced a drastic contraction in the liberalized local and export markets. Consequently, Kenyan local firms specialised in the local uniform growth and discouraging participation to the export market. High labour costs relative to income per capita can be an important cause of the stagnation of the manufacturing sector in some other African countries where the labour cost is as high as it is in Kenya.

Factors influencing growth of informal settlements : a case of Bangladeshi slum, Changamwe constituency, Mombasa county, Kenya

Author: Righa, Edwin Mwacharo

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2012

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Bangladesh, Changamwe Constituency, Mombasa County/Low income groups/Urbanization/Affordable housing/Socioeconomic factors ;


This research study was on the Factors Influencing Growth of Informal Settlements: A Case of Bangladesh Slum, Changamwe Constituency, Mombasa County. In spite of all efforts and the introduction of various housing policies in the country, informal settlements continue being a permanent feature in our community. In view of this, the study sought to investigate the factors influencing the growth of informal settlements in Bangladesh slum, Changamwe constituency. In particular it sought to determine the. extent to which industrialization, poverty, unemployment and population growth contribute to the growth of informal settlements. The study was conducted through survey method. Data was collected using questionnaires and guides from 90 household heads obtained through cluster sampling in Bangladesh slum and 10 key informants purposively selected. It was then analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented in tables percentages and t-test. The study revealed that informal settlements were the product of rapid urbanization and industrialization in that, most of the people who were living in the slums worked in the many factories and industries surrounding the area. The study also revealed that the levels of poverty in the community were high and this played a major role in the choice of housing for community members, most of whom could afford cheap, informal settlements. Further, unemployment and its associated problems contributed immensely towards the growth of informal settlements in the community because most of the unemployed people lived in alternative settlements that were not expensive. Finally the study revealed, due to the large family sizes, the respondents, most of whom were poor chose to live in cheaper, informal housing. Further research could be carried out to establish the impact of devolution and the establishment of devolved units on the growth of informal settlements.