Background to AfricaLics

The African network of researchers in learning, innovation and competence building systems (AfricaLics) is the African regional network for researchers involved in innovation and development research with a specific interest in promoting learning, innovation and competence building systems approaches.  The network currently includes scholars from Algeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania.

AfricaLics is the African Chapter of the Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems (Globelics), an international network of scholars who apply the concept of "learning, innovation, and competence building system" (LICS) as a framework for promoting inclusive and sustainable development in developing countries, emerging economies and societies in transition. Other regional chapters of Globelics have been developed in Asia, Latin America, the Mediterranean region and Europe (Asialics, Lalics, MEDAlics and Eurolics). In some big countries national networks have been established (CICALICS in China and Indialics).

Africalics was founded during an ‘All Africa Innovation and Development Workshop’ in March 2012 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The workshop was co-organized by the Globelics Secretariat and the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research organization (STIPRO), a Tanzanian independent think tank.

The formation of Africalics was centred on the following two rationales:

  • A need to understand innovation and learning in the context of Africa – both from theoretical and practical perspectives.
  • Given the fact that Africa lacks adequate capacity for the above purpose, a need for capacity building arose.

It was envisioned that the Africalics network can become a strong dynamo for capacity building in the specific field of innovation and economic development, both at the individual, institutional and country levels. This can allow African countries to design policies suitable and responsive to their own needs, and instigate corrective measures to ensure the smooth production, dissemination and use of knowledge for economic development, including poverty alleviation.

AfricaLics has received funding from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) to conduct research capacity building activities to build research capabilities in the field of innovation and development.  This includes funding to support a bi-annual research conference.