Innovation Policy And Governance In The African Region

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Wanjiru Gachie
Desmond Wesley Govender


Innovation Policy, Governance, National System of Innovation, Science, Technology and Innovation


This paper undertakes a desktop examination of innovation policy and governance in Africa. The article therefore adds on to the importance of intra-African region innovation policy dialogue by exploring policy developments in the African region. The article identifies a weak and fragmented innovation system as a major challenge facing many of the African countries, exacerbated by the lack of an explicit innovation strategy. 

The literature indicates that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies should not simply adopt a science-push approach to innovation, but rather focus on building an entire system of innovation. The emergence of a knowledge-based economy and globalisation such as the BRICs - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are restructuring the dynamics of innovation in developing countries. The literature has also shown that several international organisations have played significant roles in the development of Science and Technology (S&T) policies among African countries. However, the international organisations initiatives have mostly focused on the development of S&T with minimal emphasis on the role of policies and administration, which would increase learning and innovation performance in Africa. The central premise of the article is that innovation policy and governance is an essential component of the National System of Innovation in the African region.


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