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Innovation and the Development Agenda

31 August 2012
12:15 - 13:30


Date : 31 August 2012

Time : 12:15 – 13:30

Inaugural Annual Innovation and Development Lecture

Presented by Dr. Watu Wamae, Development Policy and Practice unit, Open University, UK

Innovation can drive economic growth and create employment – whether in affluent countries or in the least developed countries. In all countries, the power of innovation can be harnessed by appropriate policy interventions. However, these policies must be well planned and based on sound theoretical and empirical frameworks. This is not a simple task, and requires different approaches in different contexts. Innovation policies need to take account of local conditions, economic inequities, demographic challenges, and informal economic activity if there are to be positive outcomes. This suggests that the understanding of innovation, and of innovation policy, should have greater prominence in the development agenda.

Dr Watu Wamae obtained a PhD in Economics (summa cum laude) as well as a Masters in Economic Policies, Macroeconomics and Development and a BA in International Economics from the Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille (France). She held a post-doctoral position at the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) in Maastricht, and has carried out research for international, regional and national bodies. Dr. Wamae joined the Development Policy and Practice unit of the Open University in the UK in 2008. Her research is focused on understanding the dynamics of knowledge and innovation for development, with particular interest in the creation of technological competencies in Africa. She has played a key role in advancing the role of innovation in the global development agenda.

Listen to the audio recording of the lecture   

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. Details as below. 

Kindly RSVP by 28 August 2012

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban :  First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: