Privatisation of public enterprises in COMESA : an exploration of approaches and strategies : the case of the privatization of Telkom Kenya
This thesis investigates Kenya's approach to the privatization process through an exploration of Telkom Kenya's (TKL) unfolding privatization. The thesis research identifies outlines and documents the developments in Kenya's approach to the privatization programs in a developing economy of the COMESA region. In the process, the analysis contributes to an approach of privatizing and restructuring in Kenya. It has also helped explain new phenomena in privatizing in an environment with no institutional infrastructure and in the process has generated and contributed to new knowledge whose detail is discussed in chapter five. The research took an exploratory approach because there are few or no earlier studies in which a secondary data analysis solely was to be analyzed. The empirical data was based on observing and experiencing the real world with a focus to gain insights and familiarity on approaches to the privatization process. Although there is a variety of privatization literature and studies, these have tended to focus on developed and emerging economies and lately specific sectors of their interest. The analysis uses field primary and secondary data sources and an extensive literature review on privatization focusing on specific elements of approaches and developments in the less developing countries (LDCs) and in Kenya. The data collection and analysis focused on outlining Kenya’s actual process of choosing and implementing sectors, objectives, methods, techniques and strategies of transacting Telkom Kenya as a strategic enterprise under the GOK's privatization program. In attempting to respond to the central research question raised in chapter one (page 9) the thesis undertakes an in-depth mixed method analysis (majorly qualitative) of approaches to the privatization process. The research is driven by the central research question (s): "What are (why and how) the approaches and strategies of Kenya's privatization program in a developing economy?” The research outcome identifies and outlines a 'sketch approach' to Kenya's privatization program and process. The research analysis concludes that efforts to institutionalize (i.e. regulatory framework) the process, in order to make Kenya's approach more tangible, effective, efficient, and accountable need further attention. Evidence further shows that privatisation of Kenya’s strategic state enterprises (SSE, s) raises concerns of the socio-political dynamics of the management of the selected approaches, methods, processes, and objectives of privatization by GOK. Indeed 80 % of the respondents argued that privatization is crucial in enabling the government divest from business. However, the political control remains an impediment to independent and fair strengthening and building of privatization institutions. In this regard, this thesis' major contribution of identifying Kenya's approach provides a first attempt at a 'guide’ to the privatization process that is clear, accountable and open to checks and balances.