The impact of the Asian drivers on innovation and development strategies: lesson from Sub-Saharan Africa experience

Kaplinsky, Raphael (2007). The impact of the Asian drivers on innovation and development strategies: lesson from Sub-Saharan Africa experience. International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 1(1) pp. 65–82.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1504/IJTLID.2007.015019

Abstract

This paper focuses on the impact of the Asian Driver (AD) economies (notably China and India) on the historic commitment by many low income economies to industrialisation. It focuses on recent experience in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to show that (excluding South Africa) the only significant manufactured export has been clothing and that the removal of quotas on Chinese exports shows clearly that SSA is unable to withstand Asian competition in global markets. Rents have thus been significantly reduced in many sectors of manufacturing. But at the same time, there are neglected opportunities for generating and appropriating rents in agriculture and services. Thus, the focus for development strategies targeting sustainable incomes needs to shift from industrialisation to innovation, and within that, to the endogenisation of learning capabilities in an appropriate comprehensive innovation strategy.

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