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Creating Systems of Innovation in Africa

Country Case Studies

Mammo Muchie, Angathevar Baskaran

Publication Year: 2013

The most popularised concept in the economics of innovation literature has been the national system of innovation (NSI). It was in the late 1980s that the concept that Frederik List coined as the ëNational Political Economy of Productioní took off again with different thinkers writing about the peculiarities and distinctions of the Japanese, American, British, German, East Asian Tigers and other varieties of system construction. Freeman defines National System of Innovation as ëthe network of institutions in the public and private sectors whose activities and interactions initiate, import, modify and diff use new technologies.í Richard Nelson defines it as ëa set of institutions whose interactions determine the innovative performance of national firms. Lundvall defines the system of innovation as the ëelements and relationships which interact in the production, diffusion and use of new and economically useful knowledge and are either located within or rooted inside the borders of a nation state.í The normative assumption is that those nations that succeeded in building economic strength relied on the science, engineering, technology and innovation capability that made them to achieve an innovation advantage to put them ahead in the world, acquiring national or regional economic leadership as the case may be depending on what level of analyses is selected to look at particular failure, success or progress they made. In this volume we have a glimpse of how in different African economies from Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria specific cases have been taken to explore how systems of innovation is evolving.

Published by: African Books Collective


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-5


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pp. i-iv

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pp. v-vi

The South African Research Initiative (SARChI) started the research applying the innovation systems theory approach to African problems of development and structural transformation since 2008. Throughout the last four years the SARChI chair has concentrated research on innovation to address the challenges of African development inspired by the vision that Africa’s bright future is better created by making it rather than predicting a destination...

Contributing authors

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xv

There are different approaches to the system of innovation building process. There is the linear traditional route, and there is also the co-evolution route. The linear route in the African development context today sees progress from agriculture to manufacturing. Co-evolution sees agriculture co-evolving with manufacture; the rural economic sector co-evolving with the urban sector...

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Chapter 1 - Research Typology and Knowledge Needs for Development in Africa

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pp. 1-20

“If we are to take measures that will make a genuine difference to the lives of the 800 million people in Africa, to future generations and the environment upon which so many depend, we need sound and solid science,” according to A. Steiner, UNEP Executive Director and United Nations under-general secretary (UNEP, 2006: xxiii). And Darnton (2009: 1) stated that “our [US]...

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Chapter 2 - Ghana’s Innovation System

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pp. 21-45

On the back of strong economic growth throughout much of the past decade, Ghana aims to graduate from low- to lower-middle income status by 2020.1 This requires the application of science, technology, and innovation (STI) to those activities that have the highest growth potential, and ideally to the economy at large. Linking knowledge and productive...

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Chapter 3 - Labour Productivity, Exports and Skills Formation

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pp. 46-77

Developing economies generally learn and upgrade through a combination of imports and domestic development. Local firms’ participation in export markets too often arise from spillovers initiated by foreign firms (Morawetz, 1981 Kessing, 1983, Gorg and Greenaway, 2004, Rasiah, 2006). While licensing and imports have characterised the main initial...

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Chapter 4 - Innovative Approaches to Industrial Utilisation of Cassava in a Developing Economy

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pp. 78-96

Advancement is not new to industrial economies in the level of technical know-how and widespread application of technological innovations resulting in high productive capability in agriculture and industry. As technology makes goods and services cheaper to produce, the quantity available...

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Chapter 5 - Enhancing Innovation in Developing Country Systems

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pp. 97-120

It is widely acknowledged that innovation is an important driver of growth and development. The question is why and how innovation occurs and therefore how best to promote it. Especially since the 1980s, many have underlined the usefulness of conceptualising and pursuing this task from a systems view of innovation; also usually referred to as innovation...

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Chapter 6 - Innovation Financing, Industrial production and the Growth of Nigeria’s Non-oil Exports

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pp. 121-143

For those who have been following the economic trend in Nigeria, the country’s quest to become one of the twenty most industrialised nations in the world has been a front burner issue of policy discourse. In the year 2007, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and World Fact Book listed Nigeria as the 41st country on the list of developed economies based on GDP comparison. The World Bank had also listed...

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Chapter 7 - A Firm-Level Analysis of Technological Externality of Foreign Direct Investment in South Africa

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pp. 144-167

For much of the developing world, the decade of the 1980s was a turning point in experimental economics as market pessimism gave way to measured optimism in development policy engineering. The abandonment of import substitution strategies that were principally influenced by the dependency and Neo-Marxist theories of earlier decades saw governments...

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Chapter 8 - A Consensual Approach to Domain-Partitioning of a Cancer Data Sample Space

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pp. 168-193

Interest in studying comparative patterns of various types of cancer has been steadily growing over the years (Steliarova-Foucher et al., 2004, Ames et al., 1995). Whereas cancer has been widely studied and results documented in the developed world, comparative studies on geo-ethnic...

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Chapter 9 - Remote Sensing and Geological Investigation of Okemesi Area, Southwestern Nigeria

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pp. 194-210

Remote sensing is a versatile tool in geology which has wider applications. It has been used successfully in mapping rocks and structures. Sometimes, these structures are difficult to observe on the field during geologic mapping due to the rugged nature of the terrain. Often, the terrain is made up of thick, tropical forests that are difficult to access for the field gologist, most...

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Chapter 10 - Conclusion

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pp. 211-214

There have been a number of attempts to apply a national system of innovation by a number of states in Africa. It appears most of the application suffers from mimickery: It is not grounded in the reality of Africa. Failure to appreciate the empirical variation in Africa must change into the success of the grounded appreciation of the rich variety of the African realities. For...

Back Cover

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p. 238-238

E-ISBN-13: 9780798303453
Print-ISBN-13: 9780798303477

Page Count: 236
Publication Year: 2013