This paper reports on a study involving the market environment for artisanal dimension stone in Nairobi, Kenya. Taking the point of view of exchange relationships within a market systems framework it maps out economic interactions involving actors in this market such as suppliers of raw materials, producers, marketers and users of artisanal dimension stone. This strategy enabled the study to understand the enabling environment for the production and use of artisanal dimension stone that is characterized by the following factors: a rising population that sustains the demand for the built environment products, a vibrant construction market, building regulations that favour the use of stone, availability of cheap and abundant unskilled labour and low standards of stone finish involved, availability of natural rock, a regulatory system that can compromise, lack of support by government institutions and an informal system of transaction that is non-compliant with conventional requirements such as labour and environmental laws but ensures ease of entry into the market environment. Such understanding brings potential for rectifying the negative perceptions about this market environment through policy development and change.
|Keywords||Artisans, Dimension stone, Exchange relationships, Market environment, Micro-enterprise, Nairobi, Kenya, Artisanal and small scale mining|