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Innovation Africa: a selection of contributions to the Innovation Africa Symposium, November 2006, Kampala, Africa

This book reflects cutting-edge thinking and practice in agricultural innovation system approaches in Africa. It presents valuable experiences of collaboration between farmers, research, extension and the private sector to transform new ideas – whether coming from formal research or from other sources – into technologies and institutional arrangements that benefit resource-poor farmers. 

The linear “transfer-of-technology” approach to agricultural research and development fell short of expectations for increasing production and reducing poverty in Africa. The entry of new actors and market forces, combined with new economic and demographic pressures and new insights into socio-cultural realities and human behaviour, created the need and the opportunity for more interactive approaches. An international editorial team selected papers from the Innovation Africa Symposium that bring a wide diversity of real-life examples of such approaches applied in Africa and that contribute to the debate on innovation systems in research theory and development practice. The papers show how learning about multi-actor innovation while catalysing and supporting this process builds capacity for sustainable development in the face of constant change in natural and economic conditions. 

The 25 chapters are subdivided into six themes:
• Innovation concepts and methods
• Strengthening social capital in agricultural innovation systems
• Policy and institutional innovation
• Market-led innovation
• Local innovation processes
• Building capacity for joint innovation.
The final chapter of the ca. 350-page book highlights the main lessons learnt and charts the way ahead in engaging in multi-stakeholder partnerships to enhance agricultural innovation systems. 

This book will interest and inspire a broad readership ranging from development practitioners to development-oriented academics. It is designed to arouse curiosity, engage minds and encourage action to enhance innovation processes. It puts readers in touch with the rapidly evolving ideas about innovation in agriculture and natural resource management, and shows how these are being put into practice in Africa. The lessons are relevant also for other areas in the “developing” and “developed” world where professionals in agricultural research and development seek to help local people adapt to rapidly changing conditions – and where academics seek to understand and build capacities for these processes. The experiences in Africa provide powerful examples of innovation systems thinking and methods that can be applied worldwide.

Ann Waters-Bayer (ETC EcoCulture / PROLINNOVA)
Chesha Wettasinha (ETC EcoCulture / PROLINNOVA)
Jemimah Njuki (CIAT)
Pascal Sanginga (IDRC)
Susan Kaaria (CIAT) 

Proposed publisher: Earthscan, London, UK
Expected date of publication: September 2008 

Expected reduced price for bulk orders
GBP 12.50 (ca. USD 25 or ca. EUR 17) excluding p&p for 100 books or more; 
GBP 15 (ca. USD 30 or ca. EUR 20) excluding p&p for orders between 10 and 99 books; 
if ordered before 30 April 2008

Prolinnova International Secretariat, POB 64, 3830 AB Leusden, Netherlands