IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this book

Fostering Technology Absorption in Southern African Enterprises


  • World Bank


This book seeks to understand how firms in southern Africa absorb technology and how policy makers can hurry the process along. It identifies channels of technology transfer and absorption through trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) and constraints to greater technology absorption, and it discusses policy options open to the government and the private sector in light of relevant international experience. The book is based on case studies of sectors and enterprises selected in four countries: Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, and South Africa. The relationship between technology absorption and catch-up growth is particularly relevant to southern Africa because those countries are facing tremendous competitiveness challenges and must rely on greater technology absorption to raise productivity and strengthen competitiveness to gain ground in the global market. An increased market share can then generate faster growth and create more jobs. Therefore, catch-up growth sustained by technological progress and productivity growth is the fundamental solution to unemployment and poverty alleviation. Southern African firms use multiple channels for technology absorption. For example, South African auto component firms entered technology agreements with global players to meet the demanding product standards required for export. Even after the global crisis in 2009, those who licensed technologies still spent 2.23 percent of their sales revenue on royalties. In Namibia, the meat-processing industry has made continuous efforts to upgrade technology, including the recent investment in radio frequency identification technology to trace cattle. In fish processing, companies use state-of-the-art production technologies, including electronic software to record and monitor production processes, intelligent portioning equipment, and sophisticated freezer systems. In the breweries sector, state-of-the-art technology is used at every stage of production and in the marketing and distribution processes.

Suggested Citation

  • World Bank, 2011. "Fostering Technology Absorption in Southern African Enterprises," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2356, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2356

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shahid Yusuf & Kaoru Nabeshima, 2012. "Some Small Countries Do It Better : Rapid Growth and Its Causes in Singapore, Finland, and Ireland," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2243, March.
    2. Alberto Portugal-Perez, 2008. "THE COSTS OF RULES OF ORIGIN IN APPAREL: African preferential exports to the United States and the European Union," UNCTAD Blue Series Papers 39, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    3. World Bank, 2005. "Bangladesh : Growth and Export Competitiveness," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8569, The World Bank.
    4. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-596, September.
    5. AfDB AfDB, . "Africa Competitiveness Report 2009," Africa Competitiveness Report, African Development Bank, number 11 edited by Adeleke Oluwole Salami, July-Dece.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Judith Fessehaie & Zavareh Rustomjee & Lauralyn Kaziboni, 2016. "Mining-related national systems of innovation in southern Africa National trajectories and regional integration," WIDER Working Paper Series 084, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Peter Draper & Andreas Freytag & Sören Scholvin & Luong Thanh Tran, 2016. "Is a 'Factory Southern Africa' Feasible? Harnessing Flying Geese to the South African Gateway," CESifo Working Paper Series 5867, CESifo Group Munich.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2356. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Breineder). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.