n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Building systems for innovation "take off" in African economies

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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While catch up theory assumes that innovation takes place in a linear model and that path dependant trajectory characterize the innovation process, "innovation take off" rests on the premise that innovation systems need strong policy impulses from government for innovation to effectively take place. Innovation take off is the prerequisite for innovation systems to operate in a conventional manner. In many developing countries, innovation systems construction takes place in a very specific environment characterized by the rise of a small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) sector but with little experience in the fields of R&D / relatively weak industrial performances in terms of productivity, and high level of obsolescence both in terms of human resources and equipment. While the approach in terms of innovation systems is real and attracts a great deal of attention from policy makers, very little work has been done on the way African countries could engage in a real take off policy of their innovation system in a sustainable manner. This contribution addresses the fundamental question of how innovation takes off in late industrializing countries such as African countries, both in terms of policies and conceptual framework. It draws from the Algerian experience and takes further the conceptual and theoretical approach that have been developed in earlier works on industrial technical centres as a way to trigger off innovation.

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