Innovation and the Development Agenda

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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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Executive Summary

Innovation can drive growth and create jobs. It happens in the least developed countries as well as in the most developed. In all countries, benefits can be reaped by well-planned policy interventions to support innovation, but this is neither simple nor easy, and no one approach suits all. Innovation policy has to take account of local conditions, economic inequities, demographic challenges and informal economic activity if there are to be positive outcomes. This suggests that the understanding of innovation, and of innovation policy, should have greater prominence on the development agenda, and this volume aims to help that happen.


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