Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge

Series Editor
Elias G. Carayannis, George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA

Abstract There is an opportunity for African countries to capitalize on economic
gains made in the telecommunication sector over the last decade and self-imposed
pressure to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Thus far, African leaders have accepted capacity building and infrastructure development
as two responsibilities which, when implemented, should accelerate internal
and regional economic growth. But to accelerate development and overcome
socioeconomic challenges associated with competing in an information-driven, fl at
economy, leadership in African governments, businesses and research (academic
and nonacademic) must adopt a scalable and sustainable technology transfer agenda
designed for multihelix innovation. Such an agenda would allow internal and external
stakeholders to benefi t from the network of productive information, transactions,
and human capital that the continent’s telecommunication operators have
accumulated over the decade. With multihelix collaboration, these physical networks
could become transformative platforms that make it possible to scale economies,
increase security and crop yields, promote human rights and civil liberties,
improve health service response, multiply transactions and Foreign Direct
Investments (FDI), and accelerate intellectual content exports. The convergent telemedia
platforms could fuse physical infrastructure with virtual networks, social
applications, and human activity to sustainably galvanize innovation, generate
opportunities, create value, and change lives. New business models such as pay-asyou-
go and residual revenue sharing, which leverage the absence of legacy systems,
can facilitate this fusion.