Uneven Paths of Development

Uneven Paths of Development

Innovation and Learning in Asia and Africa

Banji Oyelaren-Oyeyinka and Rajah Rasiah

This book focuses on what can be learned from the complex processes of industrial, technological and organizational change in the sectoral system of information hardware (IH). The IH innovation system is deliberately chosen to illustrate how sectors act as seeds of economic progress. Detailed firm-level studies were carried out in seven countries, three in Africa (Nigeria, Mauritius and South Africa) and four in Asia (China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia).

Chapter 7: Information Hardware at Incipient Phase in South Africa

Banji Oyelaren-Oyeyinka and Rajah Rasiah

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


INTRODUCTION This chapter focuses on the development of the information hardware (IH) sector and the critical actors involved in the production of information technology (IT) products and services in South Africa. This has been a major preoccupation of the South African government, which for the last half decade has recognized the potential benefits of harnessing IT for resolving socio-economic challenges. Government efforts to develop and regulate the sector under its Country Development Programme for South Africa resulted in the release of the South African ICT Sector Development Framework in November 2000. Among the objectives of this framework, are to: (1) accelerate growth of the base of information and communication technology small and medium-sized enterprises (ICT SMEs) and support their continued growth; (2) focus on developing the nascent ICT clusters, particularly in Gauteng and the Western Cape (within this latter, mainly Cape Town); and (3) leverage South Africa’s strong local market for information and communication technologies (ICTs) and promote penetration in the South African regional market and global markets, particularly the emerging markets. In what follows we first present the current state of the South African IT sector and the methodology of research. We then present both the descriptive and econometric analysis of the innovation and interactive learning behaviour of the key actors. Finally we present the productivity performance, while the last section concludes. 7.2 HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE This chapter focuses on the development of both the hardware and software IT sectors in South Africa, although the overall thrust...

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