Article from ROAPE Volume 2 Number 2
MNCs, Taste Transfer, Underdevelopment: Case Study Kenya

Multinational Corporations, Taste Transfer and Underdevelopment: A Case Study from Kenya
Vol.2 No.2 (Spring 1975), pp12-35
The MNC (Multinational Corporation) is the agency through which advanced technology is transferred to the underdeveloped countries. In the case of the soap industry in Kenya, MNC investment has resulted in increasing unemployment and regional inequality, has made little and possibly a negative contribution to the balance of payments, and has failed to make linkages with the local economy and especially its resources. In particular, the MNC through its promotion of new ‘brand-name’ products, transfers tastes from advanced to backward capitalism, thus reinforcing the process if inappropriate technology transfer. Nationalisation and a controlled industrial strategy are options not open to Kenya given the nature of its existing class structure, reinforced by the MNCs and furthering their interest. ICDC (Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation)