Acquisition of Technological Capability in Africa: A Case Study of Indigenous Building Materials Firms in Nigeria

"Throughout the world, developing countries are facing severe problems with regard to the supply of building materials, the core of the construction sector. As populations grow and interactions improve and as aspirations to higher living standards rise, so the demand for buildings both quantitatively and qualitatively grows even more rapidly. In the provision of shelter especially, the rising cost of building materials has made it impossible to provide affordable housing for the low-income residents.The concern in this study is the problem of the inability of the Nigerian government to supply essential building materials, the core of the construction sector. This has resulted in the rising cost of building materials, thus making it impossible to provide especially affordable housing for low-income residents. In general, the building materials sector has found it difficult to cope with the rising demand and the gap between the capacity to produce indigenous materials and the amount needed has widened further in recent times. This study examines the role local raw materials play in the acquisition of technological capability and the factors militating against performance in the building materials industry in Nigeria. While focusing on two local building materials timber and clay, the study was assesses availability and accessibility of raw materials needed, the technological capability and technical development profile of selected firms in the industry, the nature of the acquisition of technologies in use, and the roles of such other resources as finance and skill, in technological capability accumulation in the industry."