Beyond the Poster Boy of the Maker Movement

Some people tour Europe’s finest vineyards others tour Australia’s sweetest surf spots—I tour South Africa’s pioneer makerspaces; part of the growing global maker movement. The movement is a culmination of people becoming “makers” (someone who uses their personal abilities to create anything from mechanical or electrical to visual or musical) and spaces becoming makerspaces (an interdisciplinary area stimulating people to create by providing resources and idea sharing).

Innovation by “makers” in South Africa’s Gauteng Province

The “Makers” who come together to tinker and hack in the maker collectives of South Africa’s Gauteng Province display a wide range of innovation practices, our research for Open AIR has found. Our study, Collaboration and Appropriation in Gauteng Makerspaces, investigated the activities of eight Gauteng maker collectives. The findings have now been published in Open AIR Working Paper 6, entitled The Maker Movement in Gauteng Province, South Africa.

Empowering Rural Craft Women through Social Entrepreneurship and Open, Inclusive Innovation

By Desmond Osaretin Oriakhogba My Engagement with the Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa As part of my on-going project as a Queen...

Secteur informel Sénégalais : après la crise, la survie

Par Aboubacry Kane Le secteur informel ignoré par le plan de relance économique La pandémie du Covid-19 continue toujours de sévir dans le monde. Après plusieurs...

Highlighting Inclusion of Marginalized Voices at International Conferences: A NERG’s experience

By Nicole Tumaine Over the past four months, I have had the privilege of attending three international conferences as a panelist thanks to the generous...

Determinants of Innovation Capability in Informal Settings: The Case of Nigeria’s...

Authored by: Oluseye Oladayo Jegede and Olubukola Esther Jegede Abstract: This study contributes to the growing literature on innovation capability in the informal sector in...

Historic Gathering of Africa’s Open Science Hardware (OSH) Innovators – the...

By Chris Armstrong  Open AIR was privileged to be a supporting partner of the inaugural AfricaOSH Summit, held 13-15 April 2018 at the Kumasi Hive...

Understanding the Dynamics of Knowledge Transfer in Nigeria’s Otigba Hardware Cluster

So what is the Otigba Computer Village? Oyelaran-Oyeyinka in 2006 described it as the biggest ICT hub of West Africa – perhaps the biggest ICT market in all of Africa – because of the size and the volume of business activities carried out on a daily basis within the cluster. The research I have been conducting looks at the knowledge dynamics at play in the informal ICT businesses in the cluster, with a view to understanding how these dynamics drive informal enterprises’ innovation and scaling-up. While other studies of the cluster have evaluated the size and capacity of the cluster, the evolution of the cluster, mode of operation, performance, sustainability and constraints, there are no studies looking at how the local businesses identify new and useful knowledge. With over 5000 businesses in the cluster, there is bound to be knowledge exchange either through spillover or conscious transfer. How is this happening?

Exploring Crowd-Based Capitalism in Africa’s Sharing Economy

The sharing economy has been growing at an ever-accelerating pace throughout the world as peer-to-peer networks and collaborative company models continue to pop up. The sharing economy, according to Rachel Botsman, is “an economic model based on sharing underutilized assets, from spaces to skills to stuff, for monetary or non-monetary benefits.” They often involve platforms that enable the exchange of services between peers or businesses. Arun Sundarajan explains the sharing economy somewhat differently: “What is new, in the “sharing economy,” is that you are not helping a friend for free; you are providing these services to a stranger for money.” He describes this as “crowd-based capitalism.”

Skills Development, Knowledge and Innovation at Suame Magazine, Kumasi

Authored by: Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Benson Adjei Abstract: The informal-sector industrial cluster of Suame Magazine in Kumasi constitutes a major avenue for training, innovation, and knowledge-sharing...