Produced in partnership with Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR), this AJIC Thematic Issue: Collaborative Innovation in African Settings features findings from research conducted by members of the Open AIR network. With researchers spread across more than 20 African countries, Canada, and elsewhere, Open AIR has for more than a decade been playing a leading role in exploring and uncovering the work of Africa’s knowledge-based innovators. Open AIR’s core research methods are situational analysis via case studies; action-based research; and grounded theory-building. The researchers come from a wide range of disciplines, including law, economics, management, political science, and public policy. The six articles in this thematic issue reflect the diversity of the Open AIR network, its approaches to understanding collaborative innovation in African settings, and of its conceptions of the social, economic, technological, and policy dimensions that impact, and are impacted by, innovation. Also reflected in the articles is the geographical range of the network.

Introduction to Thematic Issue: Collaborative Innovation in African Settings by Jeremy de Beer, Erika Kraemer-Mbula, Caroline Ncube, Chidi Oguamanam, Nagla Rizk, Isaac Rutenberg, and Tobias Schonwetter

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Deployments in Africa: Benefits, Challenges and Policy Dimensions by Arthur Gwagwa, Erika Kraemer-Mbula, Nagla Rizk, Isaac Rutenberg, and Jeremy de Beer.

Indigenous Peoples, Data Sovereignty, and Self-Determination: Current Realities and Imperatives by Chidi Oguamanam

Drivers and Modalities of Collaborative Innovation among Nairobi’s Mobile Tech Start-Ups by Victor Nzomo, Jacquelene Mwangi, Louisa Matu-Mureithi, Caroline Wanjiru Muchiri, and Isaac Rutenberg

Innovation Entanglement at Three South African Tech Hubs by Lucienne Abrahams

Innovation Practices at Makerspaces in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco by Nagham ElHoussamy and Nagla Rizk

Social Entrepreneurs’ Use of Fab Labs and 3D Printing in South Africa and Kenya by Tobias Schonwetter and Bram Van Wiele