AJIC Issue 26, 2020
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- ItemAJIC Issue 26, 2020 - Full Issue(2020-12-15)Thematic Issue: Collaborative Innovation in African Settings: Articles on artificial intelligence, Indigenous data sovereignty, mobile tech start-ups, tech hubs, makerspaces, and social entrepreneurs.
- ItemAJIC Issue 26, 2020 - Full Issue - print-on-demand version(2020-12-15)Thematic Issue: Collaborative Innovation in African Settings: Articles on artificial intelligence, Indigenous data sovereignty, mobile tech start-ups, tech hubs, makerspaces, and social entrepreneurs.
- ItemArtificial Intelligence (AI) Deployments in Africa: Benefits, Challenges and Policy Dimensions(2020-12-15) Gwagwa, Arthur; Kraemer-Mbula, Erika; Rizk, Nagla; Rutenberg, Isaac; De Beer, JeremyThe deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies is proliferating on the African continent, but policy responses are still at their early stages. This article provides an overview of the main elements of AI deployment in Africa, AI’s core benefits and challenges in African settings, and AI’s core policy dimensions for the continent. It is argued that for AI to build, rather than undermine, socio-economic inclusion in African settings, policymakers need to be cognisant of the following key dimensions: gender equity, cultural and linguistic diversity, and labour market shifts.
- ItemDrivers and Modalities of Collaborative Innovation among Nairobi’s Mobile Tech Start-ups(2020-12-15) Nzomo, Victor; Mwangi, Jacquelene; Matu-Mureithi, Louisa; Muchiri, Caroline Wanjiru; Rutenberg, IsaacThis article sets out findings from research into the collaborative modalities present in the innovation practices of mobile tech start-ups in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Drawing on findings from qualitative data collection from respondents at 25 startups in the Nairobi mobile tech ecosystem, the study explores the start-ups’ participation in tech hubs, their internal collaborative activities, their external collaborations, their approaches to managing the knowledge and innovations they generate, and their approaches to the scaling of their enterprises. The study finds that three key drivers of the start-ups’ collaborative innovation practices are openness, networking, and informality.
- ItemIndigenous Peoples, Data Sovereignty and Self-Determination: Current Realities and Imperatives(2020-12-15) Oguamanam, ChidiThis study explores the current state and dynamics of the global Indigenous data sovereignty movement—the movement pressing for Indigenous peoples to have full control over the collection and governance of data relating to their lived realities. The article outlines the movement’s place within the broader push for Indigenous self-determination; examines its links to big data, open data, intellectual property rights, and access and benefit-sharing; details a pioneering assertion of data sovereignty by Canada’s First Nations; outlines relevant UN and international civil society processes; and examines the nascent movement in Africa. The study identifies a fundamental tension between the objectives of Indigenous data sovereignty and those of the open data movement, which does not directly cater for Indigenous peoples’ full control over their data. The study also identifies the need for African Indigenous peoples to become more fully integrated into the global Indigenous data sovereignty movement.
- ItemInnovation Entanglement at Three South African Tech Hubs(2020-12-15) Abrahams, LucienneThis study explores innovation modalities at three South African tech hubs: Bandwidth Barn Khayelitsha and Workshop 17 in Cape Town, and the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Johannesburg. The study finds that tech start-ups’ ability to scale is generally enhanced by their participation in the hubs. Furthermore, it is found that scaling by start-ups, and by the tech hubs hosting them, is enhanced when they actively drive the terms of their “entanglement” with exogenous and endogenous factors and external entities—a conceptual framework first developed in an earlier study of university research linkages (Abrahams, 2016). This present study finds that innovation entanglement by the hubs and their start-ups allows them to work through the adversity and states of complexity prevalent in their innovation ecosystems.
- ItemInnovation Practices at Makerspaces in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco(2020-12-15) ElHoussamy, Nagham; Rizk, NaglaThis article sets out findings from research exploring approaches to innovation at makerspaces in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. Based on interviews with individuals involved in makerspaces in each country—seven spaces in Egypt, two in Tunisia, and one in Morocco—we provide findings on the origins and general characteristics of the spaces, as well as findings on five core themes that emerged from the interviews: knowledge-sharing; innovation and product development; openness, collaboration, and innovation ownership; attitudes towards intellectual property (IP); and scaling.
- ItemIntroduction to Thematic Issue: Collaborative Innovation in African Settings(2020-12-15)An introduction to the articles in this AJIC Thematic Issue: Collaborative Innovation in African Settings, which features findings from research conducted by members of the Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) network.
- ItemSocial Entrepreneurs’ Use of Fab Labs and 3D Printing in South Africa and Kenya(2020-12-15) Schonwetter, Tobias; Van Wiele, BramThis article outlines findings from a study in South Africa and Kenya that explored social entrepreneurs’ use of fabrication laboratories (fab labs), and in particular fab lab 3D printing services, in order to advance their social innovations and enterprises. Based on interviews with representatives of fab lab initiatives and social enterprises, the study found strong linkages between social entrepreneurship and fab labs, and between social entrepreneurs and the use of 3D printing technology. However, it was also found that social entrepreneurs tend not to rely primarily on fab labs for access to 3D printers, preferring to buy and build their own printer units—a practice made cost-effective through the selection of low-cost, open source models. In respect of the computer-aided design (CAD) software used to design the files for 3D printing, it was found that social entrepreneurs prefer the stability and user-friendliness of proprietary CAD software, despite the cost implications. At the same time, it was found that social entrepreneurs frequently use free and open source CAD files available online, and that they seek, in turn, to share their designs on a free and open source basis.