SMEs, Industrialization and Disruptive Technologies in Africa: Enabling or Constraining?
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The last two decades have seen tremendous growth in information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the Global North and Global South. Many African policymakers realize that ICTs can assist with their socioeconomic development efforts, especially in the case of small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), which in the developing world are seen as playing a key role in job creation, innovative instruments for developing and promoting competitive small firms, and enhancing entrepreneurship. Drawing from several African countries, this chapter examines how ICTs are used as a tool by SMEs to improve their business operations, drive socioeconomic development, and promote the industrialization process. Additionally, it interrogates the impact and extent to which government policies on technology enable or constrain the activities of SMEs. The chapter concludes by sketching appropriate technology policy measures, initiatives and practical framework to ensure that SMEs contribute to the overall development and industrialization efforts in African countries.
KeywordsAfrica Disruptive technologies Industrialization SMEs Technology policy
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