Innovation and African Development Conference

 

 

Introduction

The Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD) of the University of Oxford (UK) and the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) hosted the Innovation and African Development Conference in Accra on 3 November 2014. The event was followed by a two day training course on Innovation and African Development on November 4 – 5. The event was hosted at the CSIR-STEPRI Auditorium, Accra.

The Innovation and African Development Conferencepresented the research findings of a three year research project on the determinants and impact of technology transfer in and to the low income countries. The research project “Diffusion of innovation in low income countries (DILIC)” was funded by ESRC-DFID and supported by UNCTAD and the Ghanaian government. Under the leadership of Xiaolan Fu (Professor of Technology and International Development at Oxford University, Principal Investigator of this project) and in collaboration with Pierre Mohnen (Professor at Maastricht University), it involved a team of investigators and advisors from various universities and International Organizations in Europe and Africa. TMCD has worked closely with STEPRI to investigate the determinants and transmission channels for effective innovation creation, diffusion and adoption in Ghana under institutional, resource and affordability constraints. The Innovation and African Development Conference will also launch a Report with the main findings from an innovation survey of more than 500 formal and informal firms in Ghana.

The Innovation and African Development Training Course aimed to provide the state of the art knowledge on the determinants and impact of technology transfer in and to the low income countries, including insights on designing and administrating innovation surveys. A mix of policy makers, academics, and doctoral students participated in the course.

In the space of two days, the course covered talks in three main areas:

  • The barriers to innovation creation and diffusion in LICs under institutional, resource and affordability constraints and the space for innovation policy
  • The determinants of knowledge diffusion in LICs from leading innovators to latecomers, in particular the role of university-industry linkage and inter-firm networks
  • The effect of external knowledge diffusion to LICs, in particular the productivity impact of South-South trade and FDI with a special focus on Chinese trade and FDI in Africa

Both events included world-renowned experts in the field of innovation in low-income countries, including Pierre Mohnen (UNU-MERIT and Maastricht University). Prof Fu, Dr Hou, and Dr Zanello from the University of Oxford and George Essegbey, Mavis Akuffobea and Portia Adade from CSIR-STEPRI also convened some of the sessions.