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From Innovation to Sustainability: Life-Cycle Polylemmas and Strategic Initiatives for Entrepreneurship in Africa

  • Jerry Kolo
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies of Sustainable Business in Africa book series (PSSBA)

Abstract

This chapter proposes some strategic initiatives for African governments, corporations, non-profits and citizens to take, in an effort to deploy innovation and knowledge to build the capacity of entrepreneurs, thereby enabling them to produce goods and services that are profitable in the marketplace. The chapter argues that Africa’s role and presence in the global creative economy are weak. Africa is marginalised from the creative economy, and the polylemmas inhibiting the continent’s active and rewarding participation in the global economy must be addressed through concerted efforts and collaboration by all stakeholders at the local, national and international levels, and by deploying innovation and knowledge, along with other requisite political, economic and institutional reforms. Entrepreneurship has been the key to the economic success and, to some extent, political and strategic pre-eminence of the advanced countries. Africa is in a race for time, as the population explodes, driving rapid urbanisation and the growth of slums, and the need for schools and health centres places enormous pressure on the meagre resources of states. These issues are exacerbated by extraneous factors such as climate change, terrorism and global economic volatilities. Addressing the polylemmas identified through the research and interviews conducted for this chapter should equip and enable entrepreneurs to produce goods and services for local and international markets. Entrepreneurship has the potential to foster self-fulfilment and self-reliance, patriotism and sustainable development. It should provide a way for African countries with mono-economies to develop diversified and vibrant economies. It is a powerful weapon for growth and development, and the innovation and knowledge needed to fuel it are readily available in the global market. The initiatives proposed in this chapter are simple, pragmatic and feasible. True to the aim of this chapter, they are innovative and knowledge-based, and their adaptation can trigger the change needed to catapult African entrepreneurs into the global theatre of the creative economy.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry Kolo
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Architecture, Art & Design, Master of Urban Planning ProgramAmerican University of SharjahSharjahUAE

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