Uneven Paths of Development
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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).
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Chapter 6: Weak Institutions Constrain Growth in Nigeria

Banji Oyelaren-Oyeyinka and Rajah Rasiah


INTRODUCTION The Otigba computer hardware cluster (OCC), also known as the Lagos Computer Village, evolved from trading in imported information and communication technology (ICT) equipment, component and products since 1995. It is located within Ikeja, the industrial capital of Lagos State, the former capital of Nigeria. The geographical location of the cluster was a residential area with a handful of shops. Over time, the cluster grew to become a beehive of computer hardware and software trade and production activities. Two broad phases can be identified in the evolution of the OCC. The Retail and Trading Phase The cluster originated from few sales and repair outlets specializing in stationery, printers, photocopiers, branded computers and office equipment in the early 1990s within the commercial nerve centre of Ikeja. The two major streets on which the cluster developed were originally designed and approved as a residential area by the Old Ikeja local government. Soon enough, the quiet neighbourhood turned into a major business district.1 As the demand for computers grew in Nigeria, Otigba Street, which is the longest in the district, quickly assumed the agglomerative character of a cluster. By the year 1998, most of the residential buildings had been converted to new high-rise shopping complexes. The locational advantage encouraged the entry of new enterprises and generated employment for several unemployed university graduates. Once the potential of the new IT business was realized, business buildings were constructed largely through private efforts as space became scarce.2 This singular act brought the...

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