The impact of Japanese economic aid on development in Kenya 1963-1990
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This study focuses on the impact of Japanese economic aid on Development in Kenya. The evolution of Japanese foreign aid and Japanese aid activities in Kenya is analysed and an assessment is made. The study argues that Japanese economic miracle, built on the past achievements and failures which enabled Japan to borrow foreign knowledge, human resource, technology and capital which later provided Japan with an opportunity to accumulate enough capital and start her aid policy in Kenya by 1964. The study also states that Japanese linkage with the international agencies such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and IRDB enabled her to join other developed countries in providing Kenya with economic aid for her economic development. This thesis also argues that although Japanese aid to Kenya insures her better relations with Kenya, it also builds viable social-economic and cultural interaction. It is through these interactions in both social, economic and cultural activities that this thesis argues that Japanese aid offers Kenya an opportunity to join the ranks of newly industrializing states. Japanese foreign aid policy is formulated and implemented by organs such as Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (Loans) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (technical aid). It is also observed that Japan's project implementation is meticulous. The appraisal of a project is a continuous process. Further, it is contended that Japanese aid to Africa started on a low ebb because the Japanese had a dim idea about the continent; visits by various Japanese administrators and professionals to the African continent corrected the position. Today Africa is increasingly getting Japanese economic assistance, Japanese economic aid programmes in Kenya started on a low note in 1964 just after independence. However today, Japanese aid is diverse for it touches every facet of Kenya's life. By mid 1980's Japan had virtually replaced Britain as the main donor to Kenya. This was because of Kenya's promising capitalist economic development. The study boils down to Kenya and asserts that upon the attainment of independence in 1963, British had laid the foundation of Kenya's economic development. The modernisation paradigm in which development was understood made the newly independent Kenyan state to seek foreign aid from outside. It is against this backdrop that the history of Japanese aid to Kenya can be understood. Japanese aid to Kenya is characterized by more loans than grants and technical assistance. It is also argued in this study that Japanese aid activities in Kenya are impeded by a number of factors. Among them we have, inappropriate language of technology transfer, understaffed aid agencies, the Japanese favour of loans to grants and technical assistance and tough aid conditionalities. On the whole, the study posits that Kenyan's draw a number of lessons from the Japanese experience through their aid projects.
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