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Recognizing Africa’s role in the global knowledge economy.
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Metrics, Laws, and Policies


Open AIR Expert

Nagla Rizk

Professor at the American University in Cairo


Africa always appears at the tail of rankings of knowledge and innovation indices. Does this mean there is no knowledge produced in Africa? Is there no innovation happening on the continent?

On the contrary, it simply means the way we measure innovation in Africa is ill-suited to the task.

Most of the knowledge and innovation indicators measure how many patents were filed, and how many copyrights were registered. That may reflect innovation in developed countries, but it can’t portray the wealth of knowledge and innovation organically created in Africa that especially thrives in the informal economy.

Open AIR’s research is focused on finding alternative ways to assess knowledge production and use in African contexts, with special focus on innovation.

To find out more about this aspect of our research, visit our case studies page, or our annual report.


about Metrics and Policies