Innovation and entrepreneurship are overlapping concepts. The Oxford Handbook of Innovation defines innovation as ‘the putting into practice of inventions.’ It thus narrowly conceives of innovation as a reference to product and process innovations, whereas innovation, in a broader sense, entails the development of ‘new products, new processes, new sources of supply, as well as the creation and exploitation of new markets and the development of new ways to organise business.’ In addition, ‘innovation’ is defined in the Oslo Manual, as ‘the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), process, marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations. A common feature of an innovation is that it must be connected to the market. For there to be a ‘product innovation’, the product has to be new or significantly improved, and for there to be a ‘process innovation’, the means of producing the product or delivering the product to the market has to be new or significantly improved’.
Innovation, though often generically described, is not a universal descriptor but rather a dynamic, complex and non-linear activity encompassing more than just research and development (R&D). The conversion of scientific knowledge into innovation is a complex process influenced by social, economic and political forces
This report reflects on a number of case studies that illustrate significant African innovations that have been developed, not only in response to Africa specific needs, but that validate our contention that Africa is at the forefront of global ICT development. The cases are also evidence that innovation tends to emerge as a result of light touch regulation and not forced innovation. Sadly, this is isolated and certainly not endemic in African economies.
To download the full report, please follow the link below: