Sustainable development is becoming increasingly a major concern for African Countries. They need a relatively high rate of growth of GDP to solve the many problems of poverty and underdevelopment, while insuring sustainability to their economies. At the same time, it is increasingly recognised that sustainability requires more and more knowledge assets and capabilities. This paper aims at showing the difficulty in attaining sustainable development for African countries with a weak technological and knowledge base. It deals first with the issue of knowledge systems and knowledge economy and their links with sustainability from a conceptual point of view. It highlights the specific situation of African countries stressing the difficulties they meet in this respect in a second section. This paper then shows how knowledge capabilities are highly correlated with levels of sustainability using knowledge and sustainability indexes. The discussion addresses technology transfer and innovation as key elements of knowledge, while the conclusion explores some of the opportunities.
World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2010
Keywords: Sustainable development; Knowledge systems; Knowledge economy; Innovation; Sustainable knowledge