How Africa Can Overcome Barriers To Innovation


credit: USACE on Flickr

Government has a significant role to play in fostering innovation in the economy. In the developed world, government funding of research and support for intellectual property and patent protection laws has fostered a culture of innovation and invention, which spills from government funded research into the general economy, driving growth. Entrepreneurs and innovators in developing countries face serious challenges in the absence of such business-friendly government policies, although, in recent years, some developing countries have started to introduce patent laws and the like.

Despite these challenges, African countries have in recent years overcome some of these barriers to innovation. New technologies are rising to meet demands of increasingly sophisticated and discerning consumers throughout the continent. Moreover, the decentralization and diffusion of talent allows a degree of organicity in the development of new technologies. By finding and supporting these innovators and entrepreneurs, African countries can foster organic, native growth, improving their economies and the living standards of their people.

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