Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Promoting Technology and Innovation Management Expertise in Africa: The Case of NACETEM, Nigeria

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Promoting Technology and Innovation Management Expertise in Africa: The Case of NACETEM, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

Technology and innovation are two important elements in improving efficiency, productivity and competitiveness in organisations. The effective management of science, technology and innovation (ST&I) is now widely regarded as the determinant of competitiveness both for corporate entities, regions and countries. Technology and innovation management (TIM) as a discipline has gained wider acceptability in the developed world and has ultimately contributed to the development of those economies. Africa has again lagged behind in the build-up of expertise to ST&I management. This paper therefore examines the growth of the practice and education of TIM professionals in Africa, and Nigeria in particular, as findings suggest a near lack awareness of TIM. Until recently, only one university out over 150 universities in Nigeria offered courses in TIM, and the National Centre for Technology Management offers a professional post graduate diploma in technology management. The paper also proposes a framework for a massive capacity development drive in ST&I management expertise, so as to foster innovation for sustainable development in the continent. The methodology used for this paper was the exploratory case study approach. The exploratory research mainly uses secondary data from extant literature and other sources to underpin the theoretical and contextual frameworks within the TIM field and its education and practice in Africa. The essence of this paper was to bring to limelight, the discipline and practice of TIM on the African continent, though in some selected countries as they appear to have well-established schools or institutions that offer postgraduate courses in technology management. The evolution of this all important field was equally x-rayed. Consequently, the few universities and institutions providing TIM education and training in Africa were highlighted, though with more emphasis on the activities of the National Centre for Technology Management of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Nigeria. A framework for the advancement of TIM in Africa for the better management of her human, material and other resources for sustainable development are equally canvassed. Lastly, a framework for the promotion of TIM expertise in Africa was suggested in the paper. This paper highlights the historical evolution of TIM as a discipline and its growth in Africa. It concludes that adopting the framework suggested in the paper will greatly improve the education and practice of TIM for sustainable development in the continent. However, a more detailed cross-country survey will provide broader insights into TIM as practiced by African countries.

Keywords: technological management, innovation management, sustainable development, Africa, Nigeria

INTRODUCTION

Technology and its management (TM) or the management of technology (MOT) are becoming increasingly import and pervasive in businesses and the community (Harrison and Samson, 2002) and is therefore been extensively discussed in recent research and literature (Kropsu-Vehkapera et al., 2009). In citing the works of other researchers Barney, Bartlett and others, Tingjun (2003) opined that since the latter part of last century, international companies came to realise that management of innovation and technology is essential for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. Indeed, Technology and innovation are two important elements in improving efficiency, productivity and competitiveness in organizations and what differentiates successful organizations from others is their management of technology and innovation (Mezher et al., 2008). Many development scholars arguing have argued that successful economic and industrial development is intimately linked to a nation's capacity to acquire, absorb and disseminate modern technologies (Feinson, 2003). But social development today is determined by the ability to establish a synergistic interaction between technological innovation and human values, leading to a new set of organizations and institutions that create positive feedback loops between productivity, flexibility, solidarity, safety, participation and accountability, in a new model of development that could be socially and environmentally sustainable (Castells, 1999). …

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