This is the first book to examine the role of clusters as an increasingly important form of industrial organization in Africa. (A cluster is generally defined as a geographical concentration of related industries.) The book presents a series of theoretically grounded case studies that analyze clusters in different industrial sectors and at different levels of economic development. The overall aim of this book is to improve our understanding of how local clusters can be transformed into local systems of innovation and how they can be better connected to global actors. The authors draw out implications for policy and practice and provide guidance to governments, private sector associations, and nongovernmental organizations. The book reaches two broad conclusions. First, the case studies show that any theoretical framework for analyzing innovation in clusters needs to closely reflect the role of policy, the state, the types of institutions, and the nature and distribution of power. Second, the findings illustrate the limitations of trying to transfer best practices onto programs in a different context: policies can draw on others' experience, but they must be specifically designed for local realities.
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Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka is a professor of technology, innovation and development and senior researcher at UNU-MERIT in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Dorothy McCormick is associate research professor and director of the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.
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