Inclusive innovation and community base innovation

Between 2005 and 2010, the AU produced 1.8% of the world’s total research output. This was far below the output of larger economies such as the USA and China which produced 27.2% and 16.7% respectively. Within the AU, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria and Kenya have produced the largest number of scientific publications since 2005.

UNESCO 2010 report shows that there is an increase of 0.4% in publications that came out of Africa between the Year 2002 and 2008 while 11% was the rate for the developing world. It obvious that Africa is growing in publication size but very slow compared to others.

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The research output plays a key role in any national or continental innovation system, one way or another for measuring the innovation contribution of a nation or continent is the number of patent granted over a period of time; and the total expenditure on R&D. In this regard, Africa contributed 0.1% of the world patent as of the UNESCO Science report 2010, while the R&D expenditure was found to be less than 0.5% of the GDP. More worrisome is that many countries either have no record of the share of GDP they devote to R&D or simply allocate no funds at all..

Necessity is the mother of invention, and in Africa it has been the mother of innovation. While the continent is vastly different, the level of innovation has been interesting to watch, largely fueled by the equalizing nature of technology and mobile telephony.

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It is estimated that in 2016, the African population will reach 1,069 billion people, the majority of whom are under 30. Africa has the highest rates of urbanisation; its poor infrastructure, which has previously hampered growth and development, is now a catalyst for innovation. The mobile phone in Africa has become a game-changer for the continent. According to Ericsson, the technology company, by 2019 there will be 930 million mobile phones in Africa, almost one for every person on the continent. There is greater mobile penetration than electricity penetration. Now, people are able to connect, get news, trade, get access to healthcare and even transfer money.

One of the biggest innovations to come out of Africa is mobile money transfer, which has disrupted traditional financial models. The technology behind it has now been exported to the West. The continent is starting to see the rise of e-healthcare solutions and online education solutions, two of the biggest challenges on the continent.

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Documents

Inclusive Innovation Brochure

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African Union Inclusive /Community Based Innovation Initiative Concept Note

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