n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Building systems of innovation in an African setting : the cluster initiative development approach

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
This article is unavailable for purchase outside of Africa



Under the current competitive environment the word "innovation" has become catchy and center of attention for both researchers and policy makers. Much of the academic discourse and policy targets are on how to spur innovative activities among national firms. Although the debate on factors facilitating innovative activities is far from being settled, it has concretely been established that innovation is systemic and context specific and therefore its facilitation requires multidimensional and context specific approaches. This paper proposes that innovation in the African context can best be built through cluster initiatives. In building the argument, the paper brings together literature on systems of innovation and those on clusters and argues that although the two concepts are means to the same end, they have taken rather parallel roots. It further argues that while the cluster concept is practical, the concept of systems of innovation is basically an rather than concept, and therefore cannot easily be applied in building systems of innovation, especially in the African context. The Tanzanian Cluster Initiatives Project that has started showing positive results is used to back the theoretical arguments made in the paper.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error