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Title: The development of rural manufacturing industry in Central Africa : with special reference to metalworking
Author: Poston, David
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1990
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In this thesis I argue that rural industry is a critical element in the development of poor African countries, and that its virtue has been recognised by a growing number of interventions in recent years. Particular benefits of rural industrialisation are the support of agriculture, improved availability of consumer items and repair services within the rural community, the generation of rural income and a contribution to the development of the national technology base. However, in spite of the attention this sector has received, there has so far been little evidence of rural industry thriving. The general failure of rural industry to develop indicates that either it is inherently unviable in a modern context or that the interventions concerned with it have been recurrently faulty. I contend that, while the degree to which rural industry may thrive depends upon the level of formal industrial activity in the country, it is essentially viable but that where interventions have taken place they have usually been inappropriate. The bulk of this thesis therefore examines what interventions would be appropriate to encourage this sector. I show that two conditions are essential. Firstly that interventions must take as their point of departure the existing context and practice of rural artisans, for example, training should take place within their normal working environment, depending only upon the resources to which they normally have access or to which they gain access by means of the training. Secondly that the target group for any intervention must have a significant degree of control over it. Innovation is argued to be a key determinant of sustainability. The significance of confidence and its contribution to innovation are established, identifying the crucial nature of innovation itself within the artisanal context. Rural manufacturing industry is unlikely to thrive unless conditioning and circumstances encourage artisanal practitioners to innovate. I examine the factors that encourage or inhibit innovation, particularly attitudes towards existing practices and the perceptions of external agents. As well as examining in depth specific factors such as innovation and the control of interventions, the thesis reviews all the resources required by rural industry in order to thrive and demonstrates the importance of a balance between them. However it is argued that skill development is the field in which external agencies can most usefully assist informal sector, rural industry and that the results of interventions must be capable of autonomous propagation if they are to have any significance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor