Innovation and Learning in Asia and Africa
Chapter 7: Information Hardware at Incipient Phase in South Africa
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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