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Innovation Africa: Emerging Hubs of Excellence

Innovation Africa: Emerging Hubs of Excellence.


Olugbenga Adesida, Ihaba, Cape Verde
Geci Karuri-Sebina, South African Cities Network, South Africa
Joao Resende-Santos, Bentley University, USA


Innovation is critical to growth and development in Africa. In the context of a continent characterized by fast growing economies as well as an array of socioeconomic challenges, such as high levels of poverty, innovation in Africa must be understood in an encompassing manner. Africa needs to foster the emergence of its own Silicon Valley, but it must also foster the invention and adoption of more efficient wood-fueled traditional stoves that limit deforestation and combat climate change.

This book contains a number of analytical case studies that examine the nature and origins of emerging high-end innovation hubs in Africa. These hubs are both understudied and little known inside and outside the continent. With this analysis, the book intends to highlight and draw lessons from some of the most promising and successful innovation cases in Africa today, exploring the key factors driving their successful emergence, growth and future prospects.

Relevant for scholars, policymakers and business leaders, the book provides both inspiration and useful policy advice that can inform strategies and concrete measures to foster and speed up the pace of innovation in Africa today. 

Brief Table of Contents:


Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Towards a Unified Theory of Pan-African Innovation Systems and Integrated Development
Chapter 3: Innovation Hubs in Southern Africa
Chapter 4: Electronic Government in Cape Verde: The Prospects and Limits of Innovation in Small Island Developing States
Chapter 5: Mobile Technology Innovation Ecosystem in Kenya
Chapter 6: Nollywood: A Case Study in Nigeria
Chapter 7: Cassava as a Driver of Innovation: The Case of Ghana and Nigeria
Chapter 8: Using Agricultural By-Products in Egypt: Palm Residues Industry
Chapter 9: The Role of Commodity Boards in Innovation Policy Coordination: Case Studies of the Sugarcane and Tea Sub-Sectors in Kenya
Chapter 10: Innovation Hub in the Steel Sector in Algeria
Chapter 11: Suame Magazine: The Evolving Story of Africa's Largest Industrial Cluster
Chapter 12: Innovation Africa: Looking Forward


Book Information

ISBN Print: 9781785603112
ISBN Electronic: 9781785603105
Publication Date: 30 March 2016
Format print: Hardback
Imprint: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Page count: 352
Dimensions: 152 x 229
Audience: Professional & Scholarly

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About the Editor(s)

Adetokunbo Olugbenga Abiola The Hope Newspapers, Akure, Nigeria 
Olugbenga Adesida Ihaba, Praia, Cabo Verde
Neville Raymond Comins Innovation Systems and Science Park Development Consultant, Pretoria, South Africa 
Abdelkader Djeflat Faculty of Economics, University of Lille, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
Julius Gatune African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), Accra, Ghana
Geci Karuri-Sebina South African Cities Network, Johannesburg, South Africa
Erika Kraemer-Mbula Institute for Economic Research on Innovation, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Nisreen Lahham Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, League of Arab States, Cairo, Egypt
Mammo Muchie Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Wilfred Mutua Mworia Consultant and Entrepreneur, Nairobi, Kenya
George Omondi Okongo United Nations University (UNU-Merit) / Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Joao Resende-Santos Department of Global Studies, Bentley University, Waltham, MA, USA



As patron of the AIS, I am delighted about this book because for Africa there will be no better future without vibrant and developmental cultures, systems and institutions that actively leverage the innovativeness of our greatest asset: our people. This book shines a light of enquiry on some of what we have done in Africa at our best, and perhaps too at our worst when we have not managed to sustain or fully beneficiate our innovation systems. It is an important contribution to our learning, reflection and action.
Pedro Pires, Ex President, Republic of Cabo Verde (2001-2011) and 2011 Mo Ibrahim Leadership Laureate

Innovation is a key enabler of development and structural transformation. At a time when Africa has bold aspirations through Agenda 2063, innovation is a must for the continent to confront challenges such as the ascendant demographic curve, green industrialization and domestic resource mobilization. The number of case studies presented in this book showcase Africa's ability as well as potential to research and offer solutions that will leave their mark. An exciting opportunity to make Africa the continent of the future is around the corner if we just pay attention to the messages of this book.
Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) 

While acknowledging the many challenges, the diversity and richness of case studies that carry this book not only systematically show how Africa is indeed innovative in its own way, but also very skilfully demonstrates the fact that innovation goes beyond the technological. This is a must-read book for any serious innovation scholar and policy maker. 
Bitrina Diyamett, President, AfricaLics 

There is growing interest among African governments and international organizations for mobilizing innovation for development in Africa. But there is still a scarcity of knowledge on how innovation actually takes pIace in different contexts. This book helps close this knowledge gap. Edited by the organizers of the 2014 African Innovation Summit, it presents a number of case studies on innovation from four out of the five major regions of Africa. The case studies cover different sectors spanning from innovation in the use of mobile phones, in public administration, in cassava production and in heavy industry. The case studies add important specific insight and they are helpful in understanding the potential as well as the barriers for innovation. 
Bengt-Ake Lundvall, Aalborg University and Secretary General for Globelics 

Innovation Africa is an important and original contribution to our better understanding of 'rising Africa'. While recognizing the challenges faced, the book assesses the true assets of the continent for innovation and technological upgrading, based on a detailed analysis of illustrative case studies. The message is clear: the future of Africa lies in its ability to develop and nurture innovation and the potential is there. Calling for a distinctly new approach to innovation for the African continent, this book is a source of inspiration for policymakers, business leaders and the public at large. 
Anne Miroux, Former Head of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development and Visiting Fellow, Emerging Markets Institute, Cornell University 

There is an imperative role for innovation in Africa's continued development. Innovation is not about waiting for a good idea to strike - it must be a deliberate practice and process to ensure that good ideas, including those emerging at local levels, are enabled by the right policies, and shaped for social and/or ecological benefits. Without being prescriptive, this timely book offers case studies that serve as detailed roadmaps to guide the way and is a welcome addition to any leader's toolkit. 
Kippy Joseph, Associate Director for Innovation at The Rockefeller Foundation