In this new paper for CGCS, I use the technology innovation sector in Kenya to illustrate where our existing theories fall short. If we hope to understand the growth of these sector and help shape its development, ICT, communication, and management scholars need to work together to develop better theories to explain the unique context of innovation in African countries. I begin this process with an examination of the role of many different actors in Kenya. This includes for-profit and not-for-profit international actors like Omidyar Network, Internews, Google, and IBM, as well as local actors such as the government, universities, entrepreneurs, and the business incubators that help nurture technology start-ups. Through this, I demonstrate how the influence of these various actors on local technology innovation differs significantly from innovation as explained by existing theory.
"Who is ICT Innovation For? Challenges to Existing Theories of Innovation, A Kenyan Case Study," CGCS Occasional Paper Series on ICTs, Statebuilding, and Peacebuilding in Africa, January 2015.