Innovation in sub-Saharan Africa: competitiveness, capability and achievements in South Africa, Nigeria and Uganda

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- other
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2009
TITLE AUTHOR(S): I.Petersen
KEYWORDS: INNOVATION, NATIONAL SYSTEM OF INNOVATION (NSI), NIGERIA, SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA, UGANDA
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 5804

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Abstract

The Research on Knowledge Systems (RoKS) 2006 competition provided funding that has opened up a new field and delineated the contours of a research agenda in relation to the changing role of the university in sub-Saharan Africa. Governments in developing countries are increasingly imitating developed countries, by adopting policy, incentives and programmes aimed to promote linkages between universities and firms. In sub-Saharan Africa, with the largest number of low-income countries, there is evidence to suggest that policy-borrowing to promote university-industry linkages is occurring, but in a manner that does not take sufficient cognizance of the specifics of the local context and conditions, which may have unintended deleterious consequences. There is as yet not a great deal of research on the changing role of universities, but what does exist often engages with the challenges in aspirational and normative ways. There has been little systematic analysis of the conditions of universities, firms and their potential for interaction to contribute to growth and development in the low income countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Such concerns inspired a study to examine systematically how university-firm interaction contributes to national development goals in three countries at different stages of development in sub-Saharan Africa, namely Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa. The study was also conducted in nine other countries, in Latin America (Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina and Mexico) and Asia (Korea, China, India, Malaysia and Thailand), providing a basis for systematic comparative work across countries of the South.