Technology Transfer from China to Kenya for Transport Infrastructure: The Case of International Trunk Roads


  • Lemmy Nyongesa Mulaku



international technology transfer, spillovers, diffusion, international trunk roads, China, Kenya


Literature on technology transfer to Africa is dominated by studies on agribusiness, military technology, information and communication technology, energy, climate change, health, and manufacturing, while it is scanty on others like transport infrastructure. In this article, we reviewed literature and carried out key informant interviews to collect data on technology transfer for Chinese-built roads in Kenya. Our objective was to examine the extent of technology transfer from Chinese multinational corporations to Kenyan institutions and organizations. We established that there was little technology transfer mostly because of Kenya’s internal obstacles such as inadequate absorptive capacity, weak competition culture, and weak legal and institutional frameworks on technology transfer. Multinational corporations transferred technology primarily to fulfil their commercial objectives and to meet the domestic labour training requirements. The technology transferred was not sufficient to simulate innovation and technology development in Kenya. We recommend reviewing Kenya’s legal and institutional frameworks on international technology transfer in order to improve the participation in and enforcement of technology transfer by government institutions.