Policy shifts and foreign direct investment in Kenya with reference to the industrial sector
The amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow to Kenya has fluctuated since independence with adverse repercussions upon the growth of the industrial sector. FDI inflows have dropped to as low as US $ 0.39 and risen to as high as US $ 729 in the year 1988 and 2007, respectively. This study sought to explain the fluctuation from the stand point of national policy orientation regarding the contribution of FDI in national development. The study has in so doing discussed the factors that curtail FDI inflows and thereby shed light on the influence of FDI in the national economy. The study is preced on the view that FD I transcends national boundaries and hence blurs the distinction between national and international affairs. As a result the relationship between host-governments and FDI is dynamic and open-ended with regards to the future trajectory. Therefore, the form and function of the State are compelled to adapt as host-governments seek coherent strategies of engaging with FDI in a more interconnected world. The study analyses the content in primary documents specifically the government policy papers and statements and statistical abstracts to obtain the levels and identify the policy on FDI. The study concludes that the policy of Kenya government, since independence has consistently been to promote FDI. Specifically the government has displayed four main policy objectives in promoting FDI in the country's industrial sector: investment incentives, liberal FDI entry regime, moderate nationalization and privatization of the economy. The government selects FDI undertakings that it considers beneficial to the nation. This explains the annual variations of FDI inflows to Kenya.