Localisation and building domestic manufacturing capacity

At the moment I am spending most of my time working with the more traditional manufacturing sector in South Africa. Traditional apparently means non-advanced, but it would be a mistake to think that because a particular object (like a metal casting) has been made for 8000 years that there is nothing advanced about it. For… Continue reading Localisation and building domestic manufacturing capacity

My activities in the last months

So what have I been up to in the last few months? At the moment I am working with several industry organizations and development institutions in South Africa on topics that are all interrelated around the topic of upgrading of our manufacturing sector. This involves working both on the softer issues such as facilitation of… Continue reading My activities in the last months

There is more value to the value chain than adding value to products

I am supporting value chain practitioners in various programmes where I am coaching, teaching, supporting, pushing and pulling experts. This is one of the perks of my job as I get to look over the shoulders of practitioners working all around the world on commodity, agricultural, manufacturing and service value chains. While marking some assignments… Continue reading There is more value to the value chain than adding value to products

The MaFI-festo: changing the rules of the international development “game” to unleash the power of markets to end poverty

I am supporting great initiative of the Market Facilitation Initiative. Lucho submitted the online debate we’ve been having since 2008 into the annual Harvard Business Review/McKinsey M-Prize for Management Innovation (called MIX). I am a member of the MaFI discussions. Lucho provides the following short summary “Bilateral and multilateral donors and NGOs re-write the rules… Continue reading The MaFI-festo: changing the rules of the international development “game” to unleash the power of markets to end poverty

Why is private sector development such a low priority in Sub-Saharan Africa?

I will start my post by linking to another blog from Kenya. The blogger makes reference to a report by Robert Wade, professor of political economy and development at the London School of Economics, which discusses the role of industrial policy in Asia and how donors completely neglected it in Africa. In essence, Prof Wade… Continue reading Why is private sector development such a low priority in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Complexity and international development

A while ago I posted an article about the exciting developments in the various fields around complexity science and development (actually there are several earlier articles making reference to this topic). Recently Marcus Jenal wrote a great review of the work of Ben Ramalingam (author of the blog Aid on the Edge of Chaos) and… Continue reading Complexity and international development

New series: the role of the service sector in economic development

It is time for me to venture into one of my other favourite topics: the service sector and its role in economic development. With this I am not shifting into promoting  like DVD rentals (don’t worry), I am mainly interested in the knowledge intensive business sector (a.k.a KIBS) and how it enables economic growth and… Continue reading New series: the role of the service sector in economic development

Identifying firms to work with to induce upgrading of industries

Businesses absorb knowlege from other businesses that are economically competent

This post was revised in February 2018. When working on the improvement of innovation systems in developing countries, we have to work with firms. These firms have several roles, and there are three units of analysis: The firm is an important unit of analysis of innovative practices (product, process, business model). The firm is also… Continue reading Identifying firms to work with to induce upgrading of industries

The difference between invention and innovation

This post is copied from a chapter in a book that I am working on about the fundamentals of innovation systems. I am responsible for the thematic area of innovation systems within the knowledge consultancy mesopartner that I am a partner of. If you want to stay abreast of the work I am doing on… Continue reading The difference between invention and innovation

Why the advanced sectors are so often overlooked

It is amazing how little support the advanced sectors of our economy receives from public sources. It seems like this disinterest is caused by multiple factors. One, it is not in line with the priorities of the labour movement. The labour unions prefer a focus on job creation for low skilled workers. However, research has… Continue reading Why the advanced sectors are so often overlooked