Kenya - Economic sectors



As in most of Africa, the legacy of colonialism has ensured the predominance of agriculture in the Kenyan

economy at the expense of industry. According to Norman Miller and Roger Yeager, authors of Kenya: The Quest for Prosperity, the colonial-settler-dominated economic system carried with it an explicit discouragement of indigenous capitalism . Policies directed towards these ends had the effect of guaranteeing African labor for colonial farmers while simultaneously preventing Kenyans from accumulating capital wealth. Perhaps even more importantly, Kenyan independence leaders accepted the unequal patterns of land tenure and private land ownership that developed in the colonial period, with the caveat that large estates were taken over by emerging African elites (so-called "Africanization"). As Miller and Yeager assert,
this committed Kenya to a potentially dangerous course of unbalanced economic growth, as the politically powerful landowners maintained a system of agro-export domination that engendered deep class inequality and stymied (frustrated) industrial development. Today, the industrial sector remains relatively small, though many manufacturing sub-sectors have experienced considerable growth in recent years. The service sector, for its part, forms a vital part of the economy, with financial services and tourism predominating.

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