African Megacities As Emerging Innovation Ecosystems

27 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2017

See all articles by Katarzyna Nawrot

Katarzyna Nawrot

Poznan University of Economics and Business - Department of International Economics

Calestous Juma

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

James Donald

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: August 16, 2017

Abstract

The unprecedented population growth in Africa and its projections followed by a high rate of urbanization are resulting in a growing number of huge urban agglomerations – cities and megacities. That phenomenon creates opportunities for the continent, but it also raises concerns about low levels of development and diminished quality of life among the majority of urban residents. African cities are characterized by overcrowding, poor infrastructure, and limited connectivity to the international economic system. They are essentially underperforming as potential centres of creativity and innovation. This paper argues that despite these challenges, Africa’s emerging megacities can unleash their potential as drivers of economic transformation if they can be viewed and managed less as static administrative regions and more as dynamic innovation ecosystems rather than a collection of discrete geographical enclosures that encroach on each other and neighbouring regions without adequate urban planning.

Suggested Citation

Nawrot, Katarzyna and Juma, Calestous and Donald, James, African Megacities As Emerging Innovation Ecosystems (August 16, 2017). HKS Working Paper No. RWP17-031. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3020109 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3020109

Katarzyna Nawrot (Contact Author)

Poznan University of Economics and Business - Department of International Economics

al. Niepodległości 10
Poznań, 61-875
Poland

Calestous Juma

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-8127 (Phone)
617-495-8963 (Fax)

James Donald

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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