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Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation(STEMI) for African Liberation, Development and Structural Transformation

07 May 2015
12:30 - 13:30

Dr Diran Soumonn (Wits Business School and  SARChi Research Associate, TUT)
Prof. John Trimble (Fulbright Professor working with SARChI on Innovation & Industrial Engineering, TUT)
Prof. Mammo Muchie (SARChI on Innovation, TUT, Senior Research Associate, TMDC, Oxford University& ASTU, Ethiopia (

Date:  Thursday, 7 May      

Time: 12:30  – 13:30

Venue:    VCRs, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

The problems of structural development in Africa remain still a big challenge. The traditional development approaches from neo-classical theory to other conventional development economics appears to lack both the ‘words and the grammar’ to address the African specific reality, context and process of social-economic change. Development theories that justify aid, loans and debt are imported and they lack ontological density and epistemological virtue. Existing development theories are contaminated with much ontological shallowness and epistemic vice.
The innovation system approach to development can bring in what Joseph Schumpeter calls creating industrial mutation that “incessantly revolutionises the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one (Schumpeter, 1942:83)
Theories of development that can be applicable to promote African integration are much needed and ought to be selected in order to advance Africa’s real structural transformation today rather than tomorrow.
There is a real need to examine critically the current dominant development paradigm by a sound and reflected application of both evolutionary economic theory and systems of innovation in order to address the variety of problems preventing Africa to undertake a sustainable structural transformation and integrated development. Innovation for African liberation requires  creative destruction to promote the relevant  and discard the irrelevant.
There is also a need to re-think innovation by questioning the dominance of economics in judging whether what is innovation is what fetches commercial benefit alone. There are reasons for broadening innovation to include the current global environmental challenges and the persistence of poverty, inequality and unemployment that require adding commercial and non-commercial validations of the innovation dynamics re-interpretation.
SArchI new website

The seminar may be attended in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban

RSVP by 2 April

Cape Town: Carmen August (021) 466  7827,   12th Floor, Plein Park Building, Plein Street, Cape Town
Durban: Ridhwaan Khan (031) 242 5400,   1st Floor, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor
Pretoria: Arlene Grossberg (012) 302 2811,  1st  Floor, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria