Homegrown or Imported? Frugal Innovation and Local Economic Development in Zambia

Innovation and entrepreneurship have the potential to stimulate economic growth. Yet it remains unclear whether top-down or bottom-up innovations are more likely to lead to local economic development. In this article in Southern African journal of policy and development, Iva Peša looks at three cases of frugal innovation on the Zambian Copperbelt, in the spheres of housing, water and energy. She argues that polycentric innovation (which connects local and international actors) is most likely to generate inclusive development. Yet even a polycentric approach does not guarantee desired outcomes, as innovation remains context specific.

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‘Homegrown or Imported? Frugal Innovation and Local Economic Development in Zambia’, Southern African Journal of Policy and Development, Volume 2, Number 1 (2015), pp. 15-25.

Author(s) / editor(s)

Iva Peša

About the author(s) / editor(s)

Iva Peša is a historian. She carries out research on frugal innovations in Africa, particularly on the Zambian and Congolese Copperbelts, within the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa, which joins Leiden, Delft and Erasmus Universities.