Emergence of an agriculture innovation system in Rwanda: Stakeholders and policies as points of departure

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Industry and Higher Education
Yongabo, P.
Göktepe-Hultén, D.

The concept of an innovation system is used to understand how innovation contributes to economic growth. However, innovation systems do not evolve evenly in different parts of the world. This paper contributes to the ongoing debate on the emergence of innovation systems in the context of developing countries. It uses the Rwandan case, where agriculture is a dominant socio-economic sector with high innovation potential. It explores how stakeholder interactions and policies contribute to the emergence of an agriculture innovation system in Rwanda. Based on interviews with relevant stakeholders and a review of policy documents, the authors use the Triple Helix model to analyze interactions among stakeholders. They also explore the policymaking approaches used to formulate policy instruments and how these policy instruments contribute to the promotion of innovation activities. The study shows that stakeholder interactions and policies are important factors in providing the preconditions for innovation performance. There is a clear expression of interest and commitment to promote innovation activities in different policy instruments. Nevertheless, further strategic issues, such as evidence-based policymaking, institutional capacity building, better allocation of resources and platforms for promoting collaboration among stakeholders, need to be improved in order to build a functioning agriculture innovation system in Rwanda.

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