The African Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (AfricaLics) innovation and development (I&D) research capacity building project enhancing transformative research and policy

Past Event
17 January 2022 15:15 (GMT)
17 January 2022 16:15 (GMT)

The initiative aims to promote discussions about how AfricaLics and the associated research capacity building project on innovation and development (I&D) research can enhance transformative research and policy. In this EOI, we describe what AfricaLics as an initiative has been doing, why this is transformational and how it may contribute to transformative change at large.

The African economies seem to hit a crossroad regarding directionality of their innovation policies to attain sustainable development. On the one hand economic growth is paramount to ensuring the livelihoods of Africa’s rapidly increasing population. On the other hand, climatic, environmental and social challenges call for new development models that tackle these challenges including climate change and undesired socio-economic inequalities. Efforts are therefore needed to research networks like AfricaLics to contribute to the development of transformative thinking and policies for change. Based on quantitative and qualitative data about the development of the field of Innovation and Development studies, this initiative will help strengthen discussions in the network and with actors in the TIPC network on how AfricaLics and the research capacity building project can contribute to transformative change at large.

Ref: #13

Knowledge infrastructures for transformation
Capacity building


Ann Njoki Kingiri
Ann Kingiri is a senior Research Fellow at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS). She is a Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) policy and development researcher with a focus on inclusive and sustainable development in Africa. She heads the Science, Technology, Innovation (STI), Knowledge and Society (STIKS) programme as a director. She has experience in capacity building, research and policy analysis focusing on innovation studies and development, agriculture, renewable technologies, biotechnology, digital innovation, gender and climate change. Ann’s research and policy analysis approach involves innovation systems thinking and transformative thinking. She holds a PhD degree from UK in Development Policy and Practice discipline focusing on new biosciences policy. She is the Secretary General of The African Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems (AfricaLics). This is a network of scholars working on how innovation and competence-building may be harnessed for development in Africa. Ann is also serving as a non-executive director of Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC).
Rebecca Hanlin
As Director of the Science, Technology, Innovation, Knowledge and Society (STIKS) Programme of Work at ACTS in Kenya, I oversee a portfolio of 7 projects that consider the linkages between STI and society; many of these at a continental Africa level. I am Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on many of these, including the Innovation in Renewable Energy in Kenya (IREK) project; the AfricaLics Research Capacity Building Project and; the Science Granting Councils Initiative’s collaboration project. Across these projects I am actively engaged in research in the following areas: 1. Science, technology and innovation research and policy and their ability to promote innovative activity for inclusive development. 2. Technological capabilities building and the implications for indigenous African organisations; specifically, how they benefit or otherwise from involvement in large scale projects and/or inclusion in global value chains and international trade. 3. Innovation in low carbon technologies and their ability to promote inclusive development. Across my work I am also highly passionate about research capacity strengthening. I am particularly interested in how to improve training and support offerings to policy makers across a range of portfolio areas (notably research, innovation, industry, education and finance) and also have a specific interest in how to promote innovation studies training at university and vocational training levels and its linkage to existing training on entrepreneurship. I have a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from University of Edinburgh in the UK and have published widely including Energy Policy, Research Policy, Science and Public Policy, European Journal of Development Research and the Journal of International Development.
Margrethe Holm Andersen
Margrethe Holm Andersen is a Senior Advisor at the Department of Politics and Society at Aalborg University in Denmark; the academic coordinator of the AfricaLics Visiting Fellowship Programme for African PhD candidates and post-docs (www.africalics.org) and a senior research fellow in the IREK project (www.irekproject.net) focused on renewable electrification in Kenya. Andersen has more than 30 years of experience from research and planning, implementation and evaluation of development cooperation. She has worked with learning, capacity development and processes of change in agriculture and environment, climate change, local development and gender relations mainly in an African context. Her current research focusses on development of innovative capabilities in renewable electrification and sustainable industrialization and on research capacity development. She has also published on innovation and health systems strengthening, gender relations and evaluation of development cooperation. Andersen holds a Master in Public Administration (1988) and a Ph.D. in Social Science (1992) from Aalborg University. From 1998-2013 she worked with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and served as Deputy Head in Technical Advisory Services (2000-2002); at the Danish Embassy in Nicaragua (2004-2006) and in the Evaluation Department (2007-2013). She is currently the Chair of Board of Danida Fellowship Centre (https://dfcentre.com/) which aims at supporting lifelong learning for sustainable development.