Innovation and the Development Agenda

image of Innovation and the Development Agenda

Innovation drives long-term economic growth. It has a crucial role to play as global economies recover from the current financial crisis. This book examines the role of innovation in developing countries, with a focus on Africa. It investigates innovation systems and their application; the key role of knowledge in innovation for development; and the importance of comparable country studies and official statistics on innovation. It stresses the need for innovation to become part of a comprehensive development agenda, and makes recommendations for promoting activities in both the formal and informal sectors, with the aim of transforming agriculture into a knowledge-based industry capable of stimulating economic growth.

Innovation and the Development Agenda is an important component of the overall OECD Innovation Strategy, which seeks to create stronger and more sustainable growth, while addressing the key global challenges of the 21st century. It is also part of the Innovation, Technology, and Society programme of IDRC. For more information on IDRC programmes see www.idrc.ca.

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Adapting the Innovation Systems Framework to Sub-Saharan Africa

This chapter discusses the structural realities of Sub-Saharan African countries and how they relate to the conversion of knowledge to value. It focuses on two central aspects of innovation in developing countries: the dominance of foreign investment in natural resources (particularly in extractive industries) and in infrastructure; and the large informal sector, which contributes about 41% to gross domestic product in Sub-Saharan Africa and represents around 72% of total employment outside the agricultural sector. It does not aim to provide an exhaustive analysis of these issues but to encourage discussion in an innovation systems perspective.


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