Why industrial revolution missed Africa : a "traditional knowledge" perspective
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)Nwokeabia, Hilary;
United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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Traditional knowledge (TK) is a valuable source of knowledge for development in Africa. At the same time, innovation within these knowledge systems is a prime determinant of the transformation of the knowledge. Innovation enhances oducts and processes (quality/quantity-enhancing) in these societies. It enables economies to respond to risks and changing supply scenarios – hence sustained growth. Innovation is usually created by individuals. It must be so recognized and rewarded, otherwise, it is restricted by the owners from the general public. Lack of recognition also inhibits future innovations. In the system of protection of traditional knowledge in Africa, the customary laws, only communal ownership is recognized and very little reward exists for individual innovation. The consequence is either secrecy in the high-income sectors such as medicine or indifference in the low-income sectors such as agriculture.