Innovation Ecosystems in Africa

Olugbenga Adesida, Geci Karuri-Sebina, João Resende-Santos & Mammo Muchie (Eds)

Innovation Ecosystems in Africa aims to deepen and broaden the visibility and interrogation of African innovation systems in practice by offering unique analysis of the emergence, growth and future prospects of endogenous innovation practices and lessons across the continent. The stories depict systemic innovations in a range of critical development areas from health and education to leadership and entrepreneurialism, and span from North to South, and East to West, covering no less than a dozen different African cities and countries.

In addition to sharing knowledge about exciting but rarely acknowledged cases of innovation in Africa, the book serves also as a policy-oriented work to inform policymakers and practitioners throughout Africa on how to learn from experiences towards developing more enabling innovation ecosystems so that we can nurture creativity and solve the problems that we have. This book provides policymakers, business and opinion leaders both inspiration and useful policy takeaways that can guide strategies and support concrete measures to foster and speed up the pace of developmentally impactful innovation on the continent.

Innovation Ecosystems in Africa builds upon the work of the African Innovation Summit (AIS), by further examining how the innovation systems environments in Africa function (or not) to address the most basic conditions of socio-economic and institutional development required on the continent. In this volume, learning case studies identified alongside the second Africa Innovation Summit (Kigali, June 2018) examine various sectoral exemplars and transversal dimensions to help inform insights about how policymakers and practitioners might develop more effective and impactful innovation-driven strategies, ecosystems and enterprises.

This edited collection uses multi-country, cross-sectoral case studies to advance an empirically grounded, appreciative investigation of how innovation is being used to address fundamental development challenges on the continent, and how the African innovation ecosystems could be made more enabling into the future.

About the Editors

Olugbenga Adesida is a Development Policy and Scenarios Planning specialist and co-founder of the Africa Innovation Summit and the technology enterprise Bonako based in Cabo Verde. He is Associate Editor of the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, Director of the Africa Leadership Institute, and a board member of the Pedro Pires Leadership Institute. He holds a doctorate from the London School of Economics, UK, with a thesis on the role of intermediary institutions in the diffusion of complex technological innovations.

Geci Karuri-Sebina is an Associate Professor with the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Governance, Adjunct Professor at University of Cape Town (African Centre for Cities), Associate of the South African Cities Network, and a founding Director of the Southern African Node of the Millennium Project. She is active across a number of sectors including as board member and Vice President of AfricaLics, organizer of the Civic Tech Innovation Network, and Africa Regional Editor for the journal foresight.

João Resende-Santos is Associate Professor of Global Studies at Bentley University in Massachusetts, USA. He is author of Neorealism, States, and the Modern Mass Army (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and is active as a policy practitioner and international consultant in the areas of economic development policy, entrepreneurship, and trade policy. He has been a consultant for a number of international organizations and for the Government of Cabo Verde.

Mammo Muchie is a South Africa National Research Foundation Research (SARChI) Chair-holder and Professor of Innovation Studies at Tshwane University of Technology, and currently Adjunct Professor at Bahir Dar University and the University of Gondar both in Ethiopia and the Africa Centre of Excellence in Data Science in Rwanda. He is a scientific board member of Globelics and the Globelics Academy; founder and Chief Editor of the African Journal on Science, Technology, Innovation and Development; and co-editor along with Bengt-Åke Lundvall and Peter Gammeltoft of the seminal book Putting Africa First: The Making of African Innovation Systems (Aalborg University Press, 2003), and author of numerous articles and academic papers. He holds a DPhil in Science, Technology, and Innovation for Development (STI4D) from the University of Sussex, UK.


Olugbenga Adesida, Yap Boum II, Jeff Chen, Liza Rose Cirolia, Jeremy de Beer, Pauline Anna Marie Delay, Aidan Eyakuze, Kareem Ibrahim, Daniel Irurah, Heinrich Kammeyer, Geci Karuri-Sebina, Deena Khalil, Erika Kraemer-Mbula, Taibat Lawanson, Sechaba Maape, Samuel Munzele Maimbo, Shadreck Mapfumo, Ntombini Marrengane, Martin Mbaya, Mammo Muchie, Robert Mudida, Omar Nagati, Caroline Ncube, Chidi Oguamanam, Brian Omwenga, João Resende-Santos, Davlin Richardson, Nagla Rizk, Vipua Inata Rukambe, Isaac Rutenberg, Youdi Schipper, Tobias Schonwetter.

ISBNs: 9782359261158 PB, 9782359261165 Ebook

Extent: 228pp, 234 mm x 156 mm

Price: $35 • £25 • €30 • CFA15000

Release Date: April 2023

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