Programme / The Political Economy of Innovation in Africa: Implications for Capacity Building‹ back to Programme lister
Monday / 5 DEC
14:30 - 16:00
STI policy frameworks across Africa largely leave unquestioned the underlying theoretical framework of the national system of innovation (NSI) and their related canonical policies as developed to depict advanced industrial/post-industrial economies. In case of developed economies, the institutional underpinning of systems of innovation, both formal and informal, can generally be assumed as well established and reasonably effective. In the case of developing economies, the institutional underpinnings of the NSI can never be assumed as suited to the socio-economic development requirements of the national economy. In fact, the shifting to a sustained development trajectory usually requires a radical change in most of the aspects of the national institutional framework. In the case of STI, as in other areas of the economy, this implies that there is a greater requirement for an understanding and questioning of the theoretical framework of the system of innovation approach.
A political economy approach to the understanding of systems of innovation considers history, governance systems, and the cultural underpinnings of systems of innovation. It would be founded on the understanding of the various theoretical foundations of different versions of the system of innovation construct and the different, often contradictory, policy implications flowing from them. This approach would significantly blur the lines between the accepted categories of policy domains, such as economic and social policies among others and raise to the fore the close interactivities between the various spheres. It also requires an expansion of the concept of innovation considerably beyond technology. The main concern of this session is to raise awareness of the need for civil servants in ministries and departments engaged in STI across the African continent to be conversant with a political economy approach to the understanding of systems of innovation.
The following broad issues will be discussed:
- An appropriate NSI conceptual framework for Africa
- Human capabilities and the evolution of systems of innovation
- Organised labour and the NSI
- Governance of the NSI
- Monitoring and evaluation of NSIs in Africa
- Jelel Ezzine , , Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Tunis (ENIT),University of Tunis El-Manar (UTM)
- Fred Gault, , Tshwane University of Technology, Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI)
- Martin Kaggwa, Executive Research Director , Sam Tambani Research Institute (SATRI)
- Rasigan Maharajh, Chief Director, Institute for Economic Research on Innovation
- Mario Scerri (Xerri), Professor, Tshwane University of Technology, Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI)