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International Journal of Technology Management
International Journal of Technology Management


Special Issue on: "Knowledge and Technology Management for Sustainable Development in Africa"

Guest Editor: Allam Ahmed, University of Sussex, UK

The objectives of this special issue are to provide an overview of the important role of knowledge management in achieving sustainable development (SD) in Africa and provide an opportunity to discuss and clarify how universities can contribute to the generation of wealth in Africa through the transfer of finalised knowledge and the creation of new firms, new industries and business opportunities.

The special issue will also provide an opportunity for (but is not limited to) the participants of two major international conferences on Knowledge Management and Development to contribute to the ongoing debate in different issues relating to Knowledge Management in Africa. Selected papers will be published from the

  • Knowledge management regional conference held in Cairo June 11th-13th, 2007, organised by the Global Development Network, the African Capacity Building Foundation and the World Bank Institute, focusing on Knowledge Management as an Enabler of Change and Innovation: A conference for policymakers and practitioners.

  • The 6th International Conference jointly organised by the World Association for Sustainable Development (WASD) and Griffith University (Australia) held in Brisbane October 29th-31st, 2007, focusing on Managing Knowledge, Technology and Development in the Era of Information Revolution.

Submitted papers will also be considered.

Over the past decades, many new development initiatives have been introduced in Africa, each of which has been heralded as marking a new era in Africa’s development, but all of which have failed to produce the much anticipated results. Nowhere has less growth and development taken place than in Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Per capita GDP has declined by more than one percent per annum in real terms since 1980, and the gap between the per capita GDP of Africa and the average for all low-income developing countries (DCs) has widened considerably.

Africa’s efforts to achieve SD have traditionally been hindered by a myriad of factors, including poor knowledge and technology transfer and management. These have, in turn, have hampered attempts to improve low levels of productivity and competitiveness. Evidently, knowledge and technology transfer and management are the critical determinants of success in Africa’s renaissance, with particular effects in areas such as employment, food security, export earning and provision of raw material.

Many scholars argue that information can lead to knowledge and knowledge is a prerequisite for development. Education and knowledge are the chief currencies and the essence of modern age and can also be a strategic resource and a lifeline for African SD. Moreover it is evident that knowledge generated in the developed world may have little relevance to pressing needs in food production, health care, clean water and education in Africa. Endogeneity is far more important to successful innovation in Africa than transfer and adaptation of technology developed elsewhere.

There is no doubt that some African countries are rich in traditional knowledge while some others are doing very well even in the technologically most advanced fields. Both types of knowledge are claiming today to be part of the process which generates further knowledge as equal members in partnership with the rest of the world. The lack of deliberate technological learning and implementation of technological policies that are in line with domestic economic problems and the challenges of globalisation are overwhelming. Also overwhelming is the continent’s continuous failure to learn from the newly industrialised countries (NICs) and to address properly the key issues that have shaped the development paradigm in those countries. Meanwhile, there is also overwhelming evidence for the disparity in scientific output between the developed countries and DCs particularly Africa. Africa has not made any significant contribution and supplied less than 1% to the global scientific output.

The gulf in the levels of science and technology between the developed countries and Africa will tend to widen further with the rapid expansion of the Internet in the West and the speedy transition to electronic publishing. This could eventually lead to an increasing marginalisation of science and scientists in Africa, with a growing gulf in technological proficiency and economic development between rich and poor. For African countries, keeping up with these changes, and involvement in research, are both vital. African countries recognize that much of their economic future will depend upon the understanding of the global technological forces at work and their long-term implications. However, the evidence also shows that the benefits accrued from the utilisation of ICTs over the recent years have been inequitably distributed with African countries facing the prospect of being marginalized. According to recent UN reports, millions of people in Africa have never made a telephone call and without the ability to communicate Africa will remain poor and isolated, lacking the basic means to participate in the global society.

It is for all these reasons that is important to devote a special issue to recent research activities related to these developments in Africa.

Subject Coverage
The following and related areas are of particular interest for this issue, but there is no tight limitation to the scope of coverage of the papers that will be considered:
  • Knowledge transfer and diffusion
  • Education, higher education and teaching
  • Technological application to teaching and learning in HE
  • E-learning/distance learning and open access to learning
  • Open source and open access publishing
  • Learning and intellectual capital
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Information systems/technology
  • Innovative information technology research
  • Interconnectiveness
  • Indigenous development and IT
  • The digital divide
  • Technology and knowledge transfer: models of transfer, linkage policy, end user principal consideration, barriers, appropriateness, break through, funding, timing, etc
  • STI in the UN: lessons learned over the past 50 years and their relevance to Africa
  • Role of African universities in regional development and appropriate policy measures to improve such contribution
  • Productivity of science
  • Research and development
  • Managing innovation in Africa
  • Competitiveness, innovation and industrialiSation
  • Building industrial competitiveness in Africa
  • Knowledge and technology adoption constraints in Africa
  • Science parks and technology clusters
  • Best practice in the promotion of technologies
  • Technical change and technology management
  • Economics of technology and innovation
  • Understanding SD sustainable economic development policies
  • Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • Indigenous knowledge and SD
  • Indigenous development and gender

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere

All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page

Important Dates

Paper title and a single page abstract with names of all authors, their affiliations and emails with corresponding author specified by asterisk: November 15, 2007

Submission of full manuscript with names, affiliations, emails and addresses of 3 potential reviewers who will be available for review of the manuscript: December 15, 2007

Notification of acceptance or rejection: December 31, 2007

Final revised manuscript: February 15, 2008