n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Strengthening Africa's innovative and technological capabilities : policy as the missing link : research note / commentary

Volume 3, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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While East Asian countries have successfully used knowledge and innovation to transform their economies and alleviate poverty, African countries have been unsuccessful in accomplishing the same feat. The past three decades have witnessed debates about the causes of Africa's weak innovative and technological capabilities. A major perspective has been the notion that external constraints, such as the exercise of market power by multinational corporations, are largely to blame for Africa's technological dilemmas. This paper departs from externalist perspectives by considering the role of ineffective macroeconomic, trade, and technology policies of African countries. After identifying the major determinants of innovation and technology, the paper considers how various policies implemented by African countries since independence have circumscribed the capacities of these countries to strengthen their technological capabilities. Drawing from the experiences of India and South Korea, the paper proposes policy measures that should be undertaken in order to promote technological development, spur growth, and alleviate poverty in Africa.

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