Partnership with ACET produces 15 essays on innovation
September 14, 2021
In this way, innovation lies at the heart of Africa’s recovery. Digital technologies, for example, are helping to mitigate economics losses across sectors by creating new jobs, diversifying production, boosting productivity, increasing access to finance and revolutionising healthcare. Through the effective use of big data, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and more, African countries can emerge from the pandemic with more resilient economies, stronger public health systems and more inclusive and equitable societies.
The Development and Economic Growth Research Programme (DEGRP), in partnership with ODI, has collaborated with the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) to launch a series of short policy essays. In this special series, policy experts and researchers from ACET, DEGRP, ODI and other organisations explore the critical role of innovation in Africa’s recovery from Covid-19 by looking at innovation from a thematic perspective, identifying areas in which innovation can contribute to effective responses and offering high-level policy recommendations. The series has produced 15 policy essays, which can be accessed individually below.
Covid-19 – essays on innovation and recovery for Africa
- Lessons for a high-quality recovery in Africa, by Linda Calabrese, Kunal Sen, Chisom Ubabukoh, Dirk Willem te Velde, and Steve Wiggins
A strong recovery from Covid-19 in Africa starts by supporting innovation and economic transformation. Without transformation, a growth recovery will not be sustained or resilient to future shocks.
- Digital innovations and leapfrogging: Africa’s window of opportunity, by Xiaolan Fu
To help ensure a resilient, post-Covid-19 recovery in lower-income countries, the development community should actively introduce global digital industrial policies to bridge the digital divides.
- Fostering pandemic-era innovations in agriculture, by Steve Wiggins
The pandemic has changed the prospects for innovation in agriculture. So governments should act to support farmers and businesses through investments in goods and services and knowledge sharing.
- Climate-smart agriculture as a pathway to recovery, by John Asafu-Adjaye
Climate-smart agriculture offers an opportunity to speed up economic recovery in Africa and put economies back on a trajectory for sustained growth and transformation.
- Strengthening EU-AU dialogue on innovation and digital transformation, by Rob Floyd
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of innovation and the digital economy in Africa, but the continent does not yet have comprehensive policies and systems. The EU can serve as a model.
- FinTech: an inclusive pathway to economic recovery, by Victor Murinde and Efthymios Rizopoulos
African countries can harness the potential of financial technology to increase financial inclusion and reduce long-standing inequalities exacerbated by Covid-19.
- China’s role in promoting innovation and productivity in Africa, by Linda Calabrese
Knowledge and technology transfers between Chinese and African firms could be a key contributor to Africa’s post-pandemic recovery. But challenges stand in the way.
- Keeping transformation on track for emerging industries, by Carlos Oya
Sectors such as light manufacturing are crucial for the economic transformation of many countries. And they have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. How do they recover – and survive?
- The case for a new international accord on diffusing innovations and building technological capacity, by Christine Oughton
To overcome major global challenges such as COVID-19, serious efforts are needed to diffuse innovations and build technological capacity in low and middle-income countries.
- Emerging lessons on AI-enabled healthcare, by Klaus Tilmes
With underfunded and ill-equipped healthcare systems across the continent forced to adapt to Covid-19, Sub-Saharan Africa has become a booming region for digital health innovation.
- Science systems, Covid-19, and Agenda 2063, by Chux Daniels and Rob Floyd
In creating recovery strategies, African governments have an opportunity to employ a systems approach to research, science, and innovation – and put themselves in a better position to achieve the SDGs.
- Challenges and opportunities in the innovation ecosystem, by Freda Yawson
Innovation is vital to economic transformation. However, most African countries are in need of agile frameworks that allow innovators to rapidly develop and deploy homegrown solutions.
- Digital technologies, labour markets and post-crisis recovery, by Karishma Banga
Digital technologies offer African economies an important pathway to recover lost GDP and generate jobs, but countries need to take a proactive approach and close digital divides.
- The impact of innovation on youth, employment and skills, by Rianna Owusu
The pandemic has intensified the need for Africa to improve its digital connectivity and use technological innovation to protect jobs and preserve continuity of education for its youth.
- A more inclusive recovery for SMEs and the informal sector, by Charles Odoom
Large-scale enterprises have resorted to cutting-edge technologies, digital products and platforms to accelerate innovation during the pandemic. SMEs need support to catch up.