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Industrial production of building materials in developing countries: The case of Tanzania

Kisanga, AU; (1991) Industrial production of building materials in developing countries: The case of Tanzania. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study explores alternative strategies for the development of building materials in developing countries, with special reference to Tanzania. The study examines the limits of: Import substitution industrialisation. The research examines the evolution of building materials industries in Tanzania since independence, and the economic problems associated with their development and sustainability. The main focus is on the following aspects: (a) The economic context and government policy framework for the development of building materials industries, (b) The experience and problems associated with policy on, and choice, transfer and adaptation of, technology in building materials industries, (c) Identification of scope for the restructuring of the building materials industries to reduce dependence on imported inputs. The thesis attempts to examine whether an alternative strategy could have been followed such as an Intermediate Technology and Small Scale Industries strategy. Field study data on industries are used in detail to discuss how successful or unsuccessful such a hypothetical approach could have been in the circumstances of Tanzania. The historical analysis and the hypothetical case provide a basis for determining or suggesting strategies and policies which can be followed in the building materials industries in a way that would contribute to development. The thesis outlines the need for future research in the area and the need for a detail technology policy This study suggests ways in which countries like Tanzania could evaluate resources using `opportunity cost' as a criterion to determine whether a particular industry can be established, including treatment of the opportunity cost of foreign exchange. The study demonstrates that the net use of foreign exchange cannot completely be removed (for building materials) in industrial processes of countries like Tanzania, particularly because of high energy dependence and low export potential. A context of continued scarcity of foreign exchange is assumed. The study therefore recommends directions for further research to establish what can be the minimum technical and economic conditions for industrial development. However the study is able to show that not all economic prescriptions will work for all industries. There are some factors which are specific to individual industries. Studies on building materials production have tended to approach the building materials sector as a whole. It is argued that the new approach should differentiate between the individual industries. It is established in the study that the individual building materials industries develop and perform differently, and show different potential in terms of: (a) opportunity cost test and profit test (b) opportunity costs and market prices

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Industrial production of building materials in developing countries: The case of Tanzania
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123826
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