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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The Relevance of Innovation Systems to Developing Countries

This chapter discusses the relevance of the innovation systems perspective to Sub- Saharan African countries. It argues that so far, the main concern has been the absorption and adoption of established practice. Efforts to adapt the innovation systems framework to reflect the realities of Sub-Saharan remain limited. In addition, it notes that little attention has been attached to deepening and expanding the specific core capabilities that are fundamental to innovation for development. The importance of addressing this issue is necessary not only to tackle existing challenges but also to orient innovation towards sustainable paths.


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