The Maker Movement in Gauteng Province, South Africa

This paper sets out findings from research into the dynamics of the emerging “maker” movement in South Africa’s Gauteng Province. The authors position the maker movement as a potentially strong contributor to, and manifestation of, informal-sector innovation on the African continent.

Intellectual Property and Women Economic empowerment in the local Community through...

By Lilian Nantume* The education and dissemination of knowledge about Intellectual Property Rights for small women-owned businesses in Uganda is still in its infancy. Unfortunately,...

Africa’s Maker Movement: An Overview of Ongoing Research

Makerspaces are places where people gather to build projects, learn new technologies, and develop entrepreneurial opportunities. Open AIR is conducting research on makerspaces across the African continent.

“Making” Innovation Happen: Open AIR Hosts a Successful Workshop on the...

How the world evolves in the next decade (and beyond) may be dependent upon a new-age movement re-instilling age-old skills: the maker movement. In my ongoing research into the maker movement in Canada and South Africa (see earlier posts here and here), I recently co-hosted a workshop in Ottawa with attendees from the University of Ottawa, representatives of makerspaces in the community, and those with knowledge about makerspaces elsewhere in the world.

Challenging the Meaning of Innovation: Lessons from Refugee-Founded Organizations in Kampala

There is often a limited and constricted view of African innovation, especially when it comes to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). While there is the common perception that refugees on the continent are resilient, innovative, and resourceful, it is only in the sense that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Too often, refugees and IDPs are perceived as persons with only needs. The reality is that refugees and IDPs are just like everyone else and bring many skills, ideas, and innovations to the global marketplace, both the marketplace of ideas and of goods.

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?

Open AIR initie un débat intra-africain sur l’informel à l’ère de...

Par Abdelhamid Benhmade En collaboration avec le Centre de recherche en droit, technologie et société (CDTS), DST/NRF/ Newton Fund Trilateral Research Chair in Transformative Innovation, et,...

Traditional cultural expressions preservation and innovation: The Tonga Baskets of Zambia

By Charlene Musiza The marketing of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) – which are manifestations of traditional culture such as handicrafts, sculptures and performances – presents...

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Learning in Ethiopia’s Textile and Garment...

Authored by : Bertha Vallejo and Tadesse Getachew Mekonnen Abstract: Theoretically, foreign direct investment (FDI) favours industrial upgrading by allowing local firms to learn from...

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).