n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Innovation, the informal economy and development : the case of Zambia

Volume 6, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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National systems of innovation have been serving as the conceptual framework and vehicle to address poverty and national competitiveness in developing countries. Zambia has been building its NSI since 1964, but the existing system suffers from serious shortcomings related to an insufficient conceptually inclusive framework and the absence of direct and concrete pro-poor innovation policy instruments. The system lacks strong interactive dynamics and suffers from weak governance. Zambia has also followed an export-driven industrial economy, but the expected knowledge spill-over gains from large mining operations have not been realised. The paper examines national innovation strategies by emphasising the importance of the informal sector and the potential for innovation at grass-roots level. It examines the evolution of science and technology policies by highlighting how the excluded areas can be included. The absence of pro-poor innovation and lack of inclusive policies are highlighted as factors contributing to low productivity and socioeconomic imbalances.

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