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Recognizing Africa’s role in the global knowledge economy.

Authored by: Nagla Rizk, Ayah El Said, Nadine Weheba and Jeremy de Beer

Abstract: This background paper is drafted with the purpose of revisiting the literature on innovation in general, and in Africa in particular in an attempt to expand the existing definitions and metrics that capture them. We argue that there are several dimensions to innovation that are not being fully captured by conventional innovation metrics. We highlight the complex interactions of formal and informal innovation activities within the spectrum of the formal and informal sectors. Such combinations bring up four main scopes in which innovation occurs in the developing world: informal innovation in the informal sector, informal innovation in the formal sector, formal innovation in the formal sector and formal innovation in the informal sector.