AfricaLics Small Research and Book Projects Dissemination and Next Steps Workshop

Friday 20th November 2015

Hosted by College of Business and Economics, University of Rwanda, Kigali


During the set up of AfricaLics it was acknowledged that there are many aspects of the innovation and development landscape which were under-researched.  These ranged from issues such as the relationship between innovation, engineering and design to the role of innovation for the utilisation of low-carbon energy solutions for poverty reduction.  Two main reasons were identified as responsible for this situation. First, the lack of funding available for research in this area. Second, the lack of opportunities for researchers in this area to come together and network.

In response to this situation, AfricaLics set up a ’Small Research and Book Projects’ grant scheme providing grants of up to US$ 30,000 for networked projects involving innovation and development researchers in more than one African country.  Following a competitive bidding process, six projects were funded in mid-2014, with many running through to October 2015.  The grant funds allowed these projects to work up larger research proposals for submission to funders, many involving small pilot studies, and/or the development of edited books based on existing research.

This one-day workshop provides an opportunity for the projects to publically present their findings to other researchers and policymakers.  It also provides them with the opportunity to gain feedback on their project activities and ideas for next steps.

The workshop will have the following format:

08.00 – 08.30


08.30 – 08.45

Welcome, introductions and objectives of the day

Rebecca Hanlin, AfricaLics Secretariat

08.45 – 09.15

Overivew of project activities and progress to date

Anna Kingiri, AfricaLics Secretary-General

09.15 – 11.15

Parallel project sessions A

A1: Engineering Design Capacity Building and Economic Development in Africa

Convener: Mammo Muchie, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

This session will focus on the future of the project following an introduction to progress to date.  Team members will be joined by Dr. John Trimble, Fullbright Professor and Dr. Swapan Patra from Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa.


Conveners: Radhika Parrot, Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), South Africa, and Maruf Sanni, National Centre for Technology Management, Nigeria

This will be mostly an interactive session with team members discussing progress to date and plans for the future.

11.15 – 11.30

Refreshment break

11.30 – 13.30

Parallel project sessions B

B1: Does Natural Resource endowment characterize the innovation behavior of African firms? ‘Implications to overcome the ‘resource curse’

Convener: Abdi Yuya, Adama State University, Ethiopia

This session will include 2 presentations from team members outlining their pilot research results.  This will be followed by a response from, Prof. Micheline Goedhuys, UNU-MERIT, The Netherlands

B2: The Role of Women in Science and Technology Innovation in Grassroots Agriculture in Africa

Convener: Williams Ngwawu, CODESRIA, Senegal

This session will include 3 presentations from team members outlining their pilot research results.

B3: Work organisation, competence building and innovation in formal and informal micro-enterprises in Africa

Convener: Erika Kramer-Mbula, Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI), South Africa

This session will include 8 short presentations from team members outlining their pilot research results. 

13.30 – 14.30


14.30 – 15.30

Where next?

Rebecca Hanlin, AfricaLics Secretariat

An interactive session to discuss opportunities and issues for the future

This session will discuss the following topics:

1.       Projects proposed next steps

2.       AfricaLics plans for phase II

3.       Obstacles and opportunities identified during today’s workshop

4.       General comments on how to promote research on innovation and development for Africa

15.30 – 15.45


15.45 – 16.30

Tea break and farewalls