SIDA Support of Research Based Innovative Cluster Development in Africa
PACF (Pan African Competitiveness Forum) is currently coordinating cluster development in Africa by applying a systematically designed process intended to accelerate the pace of establishment of cluster initiatives as foundations for innovation and knowledge based economic development in the continent.
The objectives of the Sida support to PACF and the Swedish partner SICD (Scandinavian Institute for Competitiveness and Development) have been successfully realized for this phase of PACF development and the development of clusters initiatives in the continent.
This completion report highlights the various program components, experiences and lessons learnt in implementing innovations and cluster based approaches to economic development in Africa.
The Sida support to the different program components can briefly be summarized as follows.
The 2nd PACF Annual Conference in Elmina, Ghana, 2010 was setting the PACF onto the path of growth. The theme for the conference was Cluster Initiatives for African Economic Development and Sustainability.
Cluster facilitator training was conducted in three countries with additional participation from the countries in brackets, namely in Nigeria (Gambia), Ghana (Senegal) and Kenya (Ethiopia). The training team included experts from both PACF and SICD. Before the training a Cluster Facilitators Training Program was jointly developed out of previous experiences in East Africa. The training program in 9 modules is aiming at providing African nations with a systematic methodology and approach to the development of cluster initiatives. The implementation of the cluster facilitator training has resulted in + 100 participants, Business Plans for 32 Cluster Initiatives, Host and principal organizations in place, Qualification processes established, PACF ownership of the organization of the training program process and PACF / SICD partnership established.
The support to the PACF secretariat, executive board and taskforce has consolidated activities in the continent by promoting the establishment and operationalization of regional chapters (ECOWAS, Eastern African), assisting in the establishment of national chapters, training of cluster facilitators, resources mobilization, holding PACF annual conferences and enhancing linkages with SICD and other international organizations.
Resource mobilization has been fostered in the program and e.g. resulted in establishment of an African Cluster Development Foundation.
A research component has been created in the program. This component contributes with a research based understanding and practice of the development of innovative clusters and innovation systems and is the start of the International Graduate School on Innovation Systems, Clusters and Development.
The complete report can be found at this link