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


  • Raphael Kaplinsky


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Kaplinsky, 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, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(1), pages 65-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijtlid:v:1:y:2007:i:1:p:65-82

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fagerberg, Jan, 1994. "Technology and International Differences in Growth Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1147-1175, September.
    2. Fagerberg, Jan, 1987. "A technology gap approach to why growth rates differ," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2-4), pages 87-99, August.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
    4. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    5. Masters, William A & McMillan, Margaret S, 2001. "Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 167-186, September.
    6. Fagerberg, Jan & Verspagen, Bart, 2002. "Technology-gaps, innovation-diffusion and transformation: an evolutionary interpretation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1291-1304, December.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    8. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Voeten, J.J., 2012. "Understanding responsible innovation in small producers’ clusters in Northern Vietnam : A grounded theory approach to globalization and poverty alleviation," Other publications TiSEM e01da02b-ef2b-47c9-8d06-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Kaplinsky, Raphael & Morris, Mike, 2008. "Do the Asian Drivers Undermine Export-oriented Industrialization in SSA," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 254-273, February.
    3. Nabaz T. Khayyat & Jeong-Dong Lee, 2012. "A New Index Measure of Technological Capabilities for Developing Countries," TEMEP Discussion Papers 201291, Seoul National University; Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program (TEMEP), revised Jun 2012.


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