I have a new research student who has just started studying with me
for a PhD. The nature of his proposed research will require a
significant amount of information seeking and collaboration from
African partners in either academic institutions, government
departments or industrial orgamnisations in Africa. I include below
a brief description of the proposed research.
Although this research area is not centrally relevant to this group,
it is related to development in Africa, and there may be AFRIK-IT
members who are interested. I would therefore greatly appreciate
any expressions of interest or suggestions of who else to contact
to seek such collaboration.
"The economic crisis in Africa has defied both traditional and
non-traditional approaches to economic management. The African
development questions continue to pose serious challenges to
governments, non-governmental organisations, the donors, and
development researchers. The search for solutions lacks consensus,
partly because there are divergent views on the relative weight to be
assigned to the multiple causes of problems and partly because the
impacts of some proffered solutions are not fully anticipated.
Many believe that the key to Africa's economic development lies in
improving the continent's science and technology capacity. But, on one
hand, our knowledge about how technological change bears on the
process of industrial development of Africa is very limited and there
is little empirical data on African realities to inform future
policies, plans, strategies, and management of technological change
and industrial development. On the other hand, very few ideas have
emerged telling us exactly how these improvements should take place.
The question is how technological advances can be adapted to promote
the lives of people in Africa, taking into account the social and
cultural dimensions of technological change.
African developing countries are marginal producers of new technology.
In many of African countries, much of the technological capability
that has been built up slowly over the years is in the small-scale
enterprises (SSEs) in the informal sector. Therefore, the promotion of
SSEs in these countries can play a significant role in achieving
sustainable economic development.
There is a need to design and carryout systematic and in-depth studies
focusing on SSEs (in a specific country). The main objective should be
to uncover the evolution of technological change in this sector. This
research will improve the analytic and empirical bases of our
understanding concerning future policy and planing to promote SSEs."
Dr Mike Byrne
University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG7 2RD U.K.
Tel: 0115 9514019
Fax: 0115 9514000
e-mail: [log in to unmask]