Industrial clusters and innovation systems in Africa

Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji and McCormick, Dorothy eds. (2007). Industrial clusters and innovation systems in Africa. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.



This book is the first to examine the incidence and role of clusters as a viable and increasingly important form of industrial organization in Africa. It presents a series of theoretically grounded case studies that analyze clusters in different industrial sectors and at different levels of economic development.

The overall aim of this book is to improve our understanding of how local clusters can be transformed into local systems of innovation and how local clusters can be better connected to global actors. The authors draw out implications for policy and practice and provide guidance to governments, private sector associations, and non-governmental organisations.

The book reaches two broad conclusions. Firstly the case studies show that any theoretical framework for analyzing innovation in clusters needs to closely reflect the role of policy, the State, the types of institutions, and the nature and distribution of power. Secondly, the findings illustrate the limitations of trying to transfer best practices onto programmes in a different context: policies can draw on others' experience, but they must be specifically designed for local realities.

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