Innovation and Inequality

Innovation and Inequality

Emerging Technologies in an Unequal World

Edited by Susan Cozzens and Dhanaraj Thakur

Inequality is one of the main features of globalization. Do emerging technologies, as they spread around the world, contribute to more inequality or less? This unique interdisciplinary text examines the relationships between emerging technologies and social, economic and other forms of inequality.

Chapter 14: Policies for technological innovation with equity: the case of Mozambique

Roland Brouwer and Lidia Brito

Subjects: development studies, development studies, innovation and technology, innovation policy, technology and ict, politics and public policy, public policy


Mozambique has the lowest socio-economic development ranking among all eight countries. It provides a particularly strong contrast to the high-and middle-income countries in this study. As a result, the case of Mozambique more than any other country highlights the importance of public interventions in addressing development challenges and the needs of vulnerable groups. We will show that the extent to which policies are actually designed and implemented with such goals in mind varies across technological projects. Furthermore, our initial expectations are that there will be limited absorptive capacities which constrain the extent to which benefits can be realized. Together with existing economic inequalities, we also expect to observe smaller distributional boundaries for all the technological projects in question. Four case studies were carried out in Mozambique, focusing on four different kinds of technology: health (insulin), agriculture (orange-fleshed sweet potatoes; OFSP), communication (mobile phones), and ICT (open-source software; OSS). This chapter aims to analyse the absorptive capacity, distributional consequences, and transformative potential of each case and relate it to policies that may promote or hinder technological innovation in the country.

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