It is well documented that the space of informal economic activity is rising across the globe. This rise has been particularly significant in the least developed and developing countries, especially after the onset of neo-liberal policies and withdrawal of welfare state. There has also been a shift in academic thinking on informal sector, with attempts being made to understand the contribution of informal sector in generating employment and economic growth rather than focusing solely on exploitative labour conditions in these economic activities. Indeed, with the retreat of welfare state and the introduction of contract labour in the formal sector, many issues related to occupational hazards and improper labour conditions do not remain unique to the informal sectors of the economy, particularly in less developed countries.
This volume addresses a specific concern: the issue of knowledge generation and innovative activities, which lies at the core of sustained competitive advantage of these activities. The chapters in this book were originally published in the African Journal of Science Technology Innovation and Development.
Table of Contents
Foreword Mammo Muchie
1. Introduction Mammo Muchie, Saradindu Bhaduri, Anga Baskaran and Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh
Part I: Perspectives of Informal Economy
2. Rational agent-based understanding of the informal sector: A critical assessment René Rivera-Huerta
3. A new informal economy in Africa: The case of Ghana Franklin Obeng-Odoom and Stephen Ameyaw
4. Development of entrepreneurial potential among undergraduates of a private university in Nigeria Akeem Ayofe Akinwale
5. The confounding influence of urban informality on innovation and production specialisation in production clusters: evidence from Nairobi John C. Harris
Part II: Informal Sector Innovations: Insights from Africa
6. The dynamics of local innovations among formal and informal enterprises: Stories from rural South Africa Alexandra Luis Mhula Links, Tim Hart and Peter Jacobs
7. Actor networks and innovation activities among rural enterprises in a South African locality Kgabo Hector Ramoroka, Peter Jacobs and Hlokoma Mangqalaza
8. Grassroots Innovation as a Mechanism for Smallholder Development in South Africa: Can Impact be Measured? Brigid Letty, Zanele Shezi and Maxwell Mudhara
9. Innovation and agricultural exports: the case of sub-Saharan Africa Monika Korzun, Bamidele Adekunle and Glen C. Filson
10. Effects of climate change on a peri-urban farming community in Lagos, Nigeria Taibat Lawanson, Olabode Orelaja and Michael Simire
11. Agro-based technological innovation: a critical analysis of the determinants of innovation in the informal sector in Harare, Zimbabwe Tarisai Manyati
Part III: Informal Sector Innovations: Insights from India
12. Dynamic networks of grassroots innovators in India Hemant Kumar
13. Jugaad to grassroot innovations: understanding the landscape of the informal sector innovations in India Hemant Kumar and Saradindu Bhaduri
14. Exploring informal sector community innovations and knowledge appropriation: A study of Kashmiri pashmina shawls Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh
15. Rethinking technological choices and knowledge production in the mines and on the factory floor: Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha’s experiences in central India Radhika Krishnan
16. Understanding the diffusion modes of grassroots innovations in India: A study of Honey Bee Network supported innovators Dinesh Abrol and Ankush Gupta
17. Conclusion Mammo Muchie, Saradindu Bhaduri, Anga Baskaran and Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh
Mammo Muchie is a DST/NRF Research Professor of Innovation Studies at the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation at Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa; Adjunct Professor at the Adama Science and Technology University, Ethiopia; and Senior Research Associate at the TMCD Centre at the University of Oxford, UK.
Saradindu Bhaduri is Assistant Professor in the Centre for Studies in Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.
Angathevar Baskaran is a Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Economics and Administration at the University of Malaya, Malaysia; and Senior Research Associate in the SARChi Programme at Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa.
Fayaz Ahmad Sheikh is currently pursuing his PhD on informal sector innovations from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.