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Challenges of African Transformation

Exploring Through Innovation Approach

Mammo Muchie, Angathevar Baskaran

Publication Year: 2013

A brief overview of the African economic picture reveals a paradox where the continent that has rich mineral resources, nearly a billion people and a land mass which includes the sizes of China, USA, India, Western Europe, Argentina together larger than the sum of these regions is in an unacceptable state of being an object of aid, debt and loans despite the vast resources both known and yet to be explored. Africa should have been a productive and innovation centre and not a charity and aid centre of the world where ëdonorshipí has replaced African national ownershipí of not just Africaís resources, but even worse, Africaís own agency, autonomy and independence to shape policy and direction; to undertake African integrated national development by establishing a science, engineering and technology based knowledge, innovative, learning and competent economy. The chapters in this volume address the application of the innovation approach to a variety of problems in Africa. Together they highlight the critical importance of the innovation systems approach in each of the issues the authors preferred to select and analyse. In the African context, the application of innovation goes beyond firms to the informal activities at grassroots level. The boundaries and the range of actors and activities for innovation application are varied and not limited. This variation is represented in this volume by the diverse issues that the authors dealt with in their research by applying as common the use and application of innovation.

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. This is inspired by the vision that...

Contributing authors

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xvii

A brief overview of the African economic picture reveals a paradox where the continent that has rich mineral resources, nearly a billion people and a land mass which includes the sizes of China, USA, India, Western Europe, Argentina together and still is larger than the sum of these regions is in an unacceptable state of being an object of aid, debt and loans despite...

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Chapter 1 - Science and Technology Indicators in Africa

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pp. 1-23

The availability of science, technology and innovation statistics and indicators in a country or region is becoming increasingly important in measuring and analysing socio-economic development, transformation, cooperation and competitiveness. The long history in gathering these data and growth in Science and Technology Studies as a sub-field of scientific...

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Chapter 2 - Building Systems for Innovation ‘Take off’ in African Economies

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pp. 24-43

While catch-up theory assumes implicitly that innovation takes place in a linear path and that markets play a key role, ‘innovation take off’ rests on the premise that innovation systems need strong policy impulses from government for innovation to effectively take...

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Chapter 3 - Innovation in Africa – Toward a Realistic Vision

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pp. 44-51

Less than forty years after Rosenstein Rodan’s (1943) seminal article that started the era of ‘classical development economics’ Hirschman (1981) gave an address where he recognised that the era had come to a close. Hirschman pointed out that he and his colleagues had overestimated the power of their ideas to overcome underdevelopment and he specifically...

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Chapter 4 - Innovations Systems in Renewable Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Agriculture

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pp. 52-79

Agricultural research and rural development has moved from technology transfer thinking to various systems approaches with varying degrees of integration of local and indigenous, and expert ways of learning and innovation, the latest concept being innovation systems. Scholarly discussion on the innovation systems thinking has been influenced by two bodies of...

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Chapter 5 - Low-income Countries and Innovation Studies

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pp. 80-107

It is almost tautological that the knowledge economy requires investments in science, technology, and innovation (STI). To the extent that they bear fruit, they help leading economies to push the frontier, advanced developing economies to catch up, and poor countries to escape development traps. STI has become an essential part of success stories in the developing world...

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Chapter 6 - Human Capital, R&D and Endogenous Occupational Choice

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pp. 108-128

Most current theories of development economics show that capital markets are important in the financing of economic activities. They can increase the volume of investments by loans to agents and thus contribute to increase the level of employment, product and the rate of economic growth. But in an uncertain environment, where the risk on borrowers, asymmetries...

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Chapter 7 - Building Systems of Innovation in an African Setting

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pp. 129-148

As the process of globalisation gathers momentum and competition among nations become fierce, the issues surrounding innovation are receiving ever-greater attention from both researchers and policy makers11. This is from the fact that, innovation is considered as one of the most important competitive edges of nations. When it comes to competition, the issue is...

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Chapter 8 - Are North–South Technological Spillovers Substantial?

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pp. 149-172

Among developing countries, there is a growing rift between the few economies that have managed to ‘take-off’ and the overwhelming majority that is increasingly being marginalised by the current economic trend of rapid transformations. From a more general perspective, there is a great deal of evidence against the inevitable convergence predicted by earlier models...

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Chapter 9 - Where are the Flags of Our Fathers?

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pp. 173-187

We are all told that we live within a ‘globalised knowledge economy’. This is put forward as being a positive situation leading to economic growth, progress and ultimately reduction of poverty, disease and ‘backwardness’. Yet for many we are looking at a situation that could be labelled as the unfulfilled promise of knowledge-led progress. Truth is distorted while...

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Chapter 10 - Design Theory of Letanta

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pp. 188-204

The first order logic axioms (as shown in Table 1) provide a theoretical framework of the design methodology followed by the artisans of Matamong. Many of these axioms are consistent with my daily observation of the people of Matamong. These altruistic maxims of mutual benefit form...

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Chapter 11 - Conclusion

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pp. 205-208

This book series started with the challenges of African transformation. Africa confronts a fragmentation- dependence context that continues to this day. Donor dependency has not been removed yet. Fragmentation continues as African states have now increased to 54 and if the Western Sahara becomes a new state, there will be 55 states. African unification...

Back Cover

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p. 234-234

E-ISBN-13: 9780798303507
Print-ISBN-13: 9780798303484

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2013