AFRICA, LAND OF INNOVATION

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Pougnaud Pierre

by Pierre Pougnaud

2013-12-04
 

An objective approach to the African continent’s innovation potential  immediately  comes  up  against  paradoxes  and prejudices.  Paradoxes,  because  recent  developments  in  African economies, and in particular those of sub-Saharan Africa, reveal something disturbing in relation to the commonly accepted models, with high — and apparently sustainable — growth rates despite the absence of massive prior investment in research and innovation. Prejudices, because public opinion, however enlightened, and a sizeable part of the specialist community have reached the conclusion that  Africa  has  its  own  sense  of  time  and  that  force-marched innovation is not in its genes and could even have adverse effects on the cohesion of countries that are in many respects still fragile. Must one therefore be resigned to growth dependent on “the innovation of others,” content to take advantage of guaranteed income, niches or more or less perennial benefits in terms of production costs?

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