AbstractThis research is to investigate the current status of and the possible future strategic trends in the building materials industry in Kenya. It outlines the experience gained by some developing countries, in attempting to meet the demands for housing and overcome shortage and supply problems with building materials.
Housing construction and its associated infrastructure play a strategic role within the national economy of Kenya. The problems arising from the necessity to provide adequate housing are aggravated by the high population growth rate, and a draining of foreign currency by importation of materials many of which could be substituted by locally produced products. A literature review on the subject matter has included case studies from Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Central America, and also publications from various United Nations Organisations and has identified the significant variables.
A research model has been developed with variables categorised under the relevant headings i.e external factors, inputs, outputs or manufacturing processes and distribution. All variables have been defined and similarly categorised to assess their impact on the limitations to the expansion of the production of building materials.
The questionnaires were designed and personally administered to companies manufacturing building materials in and around the capital city of Nairobi. These were aimed to measure the variables set in the research model to identify the limitations of the expansion strategy of the companies targeted. Out of fifty companies approached, only 17 accepted to be interviewed.
The questionnaire survey was conducted and administered personally. Data collected from the 17 manufacturers of building materials were entered manually in the statistical package for social science (SPSS) and were analysed and evaluated using statistical techniques with the help of statistical computing Minitab and SPSS Packages. The techniques used are the chi-square test and Spearman correlation coefficient and related level of significance.
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