The literature on innovation in Africa is rapidly expanding, and a recurring thread in the emergent literature is the pervasiveness of systemic weaknesses that inhibit the innovation process. Despite these, firms are able to innovate in Africa. It is then logical to ask: how do African firms manage to overcome the prevalent constraints and learn to innovate?
This book directly tackles this question, with a view to improving our understanding of the innovation landscape in Africa. The book brings together some of the latest innovation research from across the African continent, ranging from Tanzania and Ethiopia in the east to Nigeria in the west. The chapters included in the collection adopt different but complementary theoretical and methodological approaches to address a rich mix of interrelated issues. These issues include the factors that enhance or inhibit innovation in African firms, the sources of (knowledge/information for) innovation, policy options for overcoming constraints and facilitating firm-level innovation, the nature and roles of brokers and intermediaries in dealing with innovation constraints and in facilitating the innovation process and the role of interactive learning and acquisition of embodied technology in the innovation process.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Innovation and Development.
Introduction - Firm-level innovation in Africa: overcoming limits and constraints 1. Bridging gaps in innovation systems for small-scale agricultural activities in sub-Saharan Africa: brokers wanted! 2. Technology transfer and agricultural mechanization in Tanzania: institutional adjustments to accommodate emerging economy innovations 3. Absorptive capacity and product innovation: new evidence from Nigeria 4. Persistence of innovation and knowledge flows in Africa: an empirical investigation 5. Effect of knowledge sources on firm-level innovation in Tanzania 6. Embodied technology transfer and learning by exporting in the Ethiopian manufacturing sector
Abiodun Egbetokun is the Head of the Science Policy and Innovation Studies Department of the National Centre for Technology Management, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He holds a PhD in the Economics of Innovation from Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany. His research focuses mainly on the microeconomic sources and effects of innovation and entrepreneurship. Richmond Atta-Ankomah is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana. He also holds the position of Visiting Research Fellow with the Development Policy and Practice Unit of the Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. His research focuses on industrial development and firm-level innovation issues. Oluseye Jegede is a Senior Researcher in the SARChI Industrial Development Unit in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds a PhD in Technology Management. His main areas of research are science, technology and innovation policy, and economic development. Edward Lorenz is a Professor of Economics at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France and a member of the University of Cote d'Azur, France. He also holds the position of Assigned Professor at Aalborg University, Denmark. His work focuses on the comparative analysis of work organization and firm-level competency building in national innovation systems.