Title: National Technology Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa

Authors: Sanjaya Lall, Carlo Pietrobelli

Addresses: Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, 21 St. Giles, Oxford OX1 3LA, UK. ' University of Rome 3, CREI, Via Ostiense 161, 00154 Rome, Italy

Abstract: There is an increasing concern among policy-makers in many countries about national |competitiveness| and the technological dynamism required to be competitive. In developing countries, industrial and technological performance is closely linked to their capacity to use technologies efficiently. This reflects the fact that they are seldom |innovators| in a narrow sense, but they crucially need to be able to acquire the foreign technologies relevant to their competitiveness, absorb them, adapt and improve them constantly as conditions change. Following this notion of innovation and technical change, we develop a concept of National Technology System. This paper contributes to this debate by specifically focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and using original microeconomic evidence on scientific and technological infrastructure. In this region, in spite of continuing liberalisation and openness, competitiveness is worsening, and deficiencies in the science and technological infrastructure seriously constrain industrial performance.

Keywords: national innovation systems; technology transfer; Sub-Saharan Africa; national technology systems; microeconomics; scientific infrastructure; technological infrastructure; competitiveness; industrial performance; developing countries; globalisation; Ghana; Uganda; Kenya; Zimbabwe; Tanzania.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTG.2005.008746

International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 2005 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.311 - 342

Published online: 21 Jan 2006 *

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