SICD is and has during the years collaborated in cluster and
innovation system development in the following African countries.
SICD is the Swedish partner for University of Rwanda (UR) – Sweden Innovation subprogram in the present Sida bilateral agreement.
The subprogram aims to link UR with the public sector (government, ministries), private sector (SMEs) firms, farmers’ cooperatives, etc. and civil society. This will boost the role of UR as an important actor in disseminating research findings, influencing their use in solving problems in the society. Through this subprogram the UR will become a creative partner in the National Innovation System of Rwanda. The Innovation subprogram has assigned Innovation Coordinators at each of UR six Colleges. Their task is to assist researchers, lecturers and students who have ideas on collaborations for innovation.
There are dual purposes to innovate: 1) New products and services are needed to cater for the needs of the poor, and 2) Rwanda needs to increase its range of exportable products to competitive prices. These two purposes should be seen as complimentary strategies to develop the country and its population in an inclusive way.
The innovation program takes the “Triple Helix-approach” as a point of departure to increase the cooperation between the UR, public sector institutions and the private sector. The private sector in Rwanda consists mainly of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME), at times organized in cooperatives. Clustering the MSME facilitates learning, uptake of research and formulation of new research questions that will lead to innovations.
The cluster initiative situation in Tanzania is reported in the following document “Status Report of Cluster Initiatives in Tanzania” from 2011 by Flower E. Msuya. The secretariat for PACF-Tz is hosted by COSTECH (The Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology www.costech.or.tz) located in Dar es Salaam.
The cluster initiative situation in Uganda is reported in the following document “Innovation Systems and Clusters Program – Uganda, Progress Report” from 2011 compiled by the secretariate of PACF-Uganda. For more updates see www.clustersuganda.com
The first cluster facilitator training in Mozambique was conducted in June 2006. After a number of organizational changes for PACF-Mozambique, another Sida supported program started in 2011. The document for this program presents a developed status of SICD methodology concerning promotion of innovation and support for innovation clusters. Terms of reference for Moz 2011. The hosting authority for the cluster development program is FNI (Fundo Nacional de Investigacao under Ministério de Ciencia e Technologia).
For updates of PACF Nigeria see www.pacfnigeria.org
Activities in the ECOWAS region is presented via SICD’s latest cooperation commitments 2011.
Training and implementation in Nigeria (Gambia), Ghana (Senegal) and Kenya (Ethiopia)
+ 100 participants
Business Plans (BPs) for 32 Cluster Initiatives (CIs)
Host and principal organizations in place
Qualification processes established – at different pace.
PACF owns and organizes the TP process
PACF / SICD partnership established
Nigeria and Gambia:
34 participants (3 from Gambia)
13 pilot CIs processed during training
Host organization: RMRDCI (Raw Materials Research and Development Council)
Principal organization: PACF Chapter Nigeria (chair Prof Bamiro)
Status: 6 BPs/CIs submitted to PACF chapter and reviewed by Training Team. 2 CIs recommended by Training Team (TT) if minor changes made, other 4 need major improvements.
The Training Course was successfully implemented with a good response from the participating organizations and participants. RMRDCI hosted the training in a good way. The PACF chapter of Nigeria is in charge of the refinement of the Business Plans of the Cluster Initiative and the decision of the first batch of seed financing (local and national).
The Cluster approach is fully mainstreamed in Government policies and the RMRDC is an effective anchor institution for Cluster development in Nigeria.
The National Steering Committee’s follow up mechanism for Cluster Initiatives development process needs to be improved especially in setting feedback timelines and performance milestones.
The SICD/PACF Training program with materials developed by the two institutions kick started in Nigeria for Nigeria and Gambia. The poor response in submitting Business Plans compared to the second training in Ghana could be a reflection of the Facilitators grasp of the concepts and requisite action required of them; NSC follow up as explained above or the trainers delivery (reviewed and improved after the Abuja Training).
The situation in Gambia attracts attention. In the absence of a PACF structure coordination of cluster development activities has been carried out by Ms Fatou Mboob Jaah (A member of the PACF Executive Board) without anchorage to any specific institution. Two business plans have been received and all needed improvements.
In the two countries there is no Cluster Initiative that has been evaluated on site and therefore none has been earmarked for seed funding.
Ghana and Senegal
27 participants (3 from Senegal)
Host organization: STEPRI (The Science and Technology Policy Research Institute)
Principal organisation PACF Chapter Ghana (chair Mr Kusi)
11 CIs designed draft business plans as a result of training course (Sept 2010)
Status and qualification process
11 CIs BPs anchored and improved ”at home” then submitted to PACF GH for first approval
11 BPs / CIs submitted to PACF and reviewed by Training team. Feed back directly to Mr Kusi (Feb 2011)
Status: 8 CIs prioritized by PACF and submitted to Training team for and recommended for seed funding
The Training Course was successfully implemented with a good response from the participating organizations and participants. STEPRI hosted the training in an excellent way.
The PACF National Steering Committee and general coordination of cluster Initiatives establishment and development under STEPRI has resulted in very positive developments in Ghana. It can be derived that the extent of involvement of the NSC in cluster development determines the performance of the Facilitators and the CI s in general.
The progress in Ghana has been impressive. The business plans have been refined and the activities in the action plan have been successfully implemented so far. In October 2011 Lena Trojer visited Ghana in order to follow up the progress of the 8 prioritized CI. In the report from the follow up, it was clarified that the actual CI:s had received national and other seed funding and were qualified for Sida part of seed financing. The process is harmed by Sida’s redefinition of the seed money commitment and conditions (see below).
The Senegalese situation also attracts attention. The Business plan submitted was for enterprise development and not cluster development. On site discussions in Dakar with Mr Wade Ibrahima and Mr Bakhoum Babacar (June 2011) revealed that lack of coordination/communication between the initial training program coordinator (Mr Babacar) and Mr Wade (The Permanent Secretary in the Prime Ministers Office responsible for Cluster Development) derailed the Facilitator training program for Senegal and there is need to reexamine the Facilitator training and cluster initiatives development approach not only for Senegal but for the Francophone West Africa.
Kenya and Ethiopia
45 participants (3 from Ethiopia)
Host organization: NESC (National Economic and Social Council)
Principal organisation PACF Chapter Kenya (chair Mr K Kariuki)
7 CIs designed draft BPs as a result of training course (July 2011)
Plan: Sept/Oct 2011 anchored BPs / CIs evaluated
Jan/Feb 2012 BPs / CIs for application for seed funding
The Training Course was successfully implemented with a good response from the participating organizations and participants. NESC hosted the training in a good way. The training was successfully completed and the draft business plans well designed. The commitment of the Presidents Office to Cluster development is commendable especially in view of the fact that Kenya has a cluster development policy in place and the training provided Kenya with tools for implementation of such policy. The close link between PACF-Kenya and the Presidents Office is a key factor for success at the highest levels of Government decision making.
The trainers from SICD and PACF faced however problems due to Mr Kariukis behaviour. He did violate against the copyright of the training material, he acted fraudulently with invoices and transport charges. These corruption issues have been reported to Head of NESC by PACF and SICD. We refered in the letter to Sida ́s zero tolerance to corruption. So far, no response has been received from NESC nor from PACF Kenya and the chairman Mr Kariuki. We are not expecting feed back from the chairman of PACF Kenya in this matter.
December 5 2011, Dan Sjögren will visit Ethiopia in order to follow up the Ethiopian Shoe Cluster Initiative.
Ethiopia does not yet have a PACF structure to oversee the implementation of the one business plan from Ethiopia. Individuals, who have been coordinating the program in Ethiopia, should utilise this opportunity as a nucleus for the establishment of more cluster initiatives and vitalising the PACF chapter in Ethiopia.
Continuous support and monitoring
An important lesson is that the development process needs to be funded in all stages, from development to implementation. The funding needs to cover visits to each participating country. It is vital to monitor and support the implementation of the program and the initiatives including meetings and visits to the PACF national chapter, the national host organisation for the program (for example STEPRI in Ghana) and each of the cluster initiative. This has been possible in Ghana and has provided a better framework for the implementation and the further work, both at the national level and for the initiatives. It included also a better monitoring and coaching to the individual initiatives, based on their business plans.
Seed funding of approved CI.
During 2010 the issue of seed funding was discussed with Sida staff. The experiences of Sida seed funding model of CI in Tanzania and Uganda are very good. The seed money was used for facilitation of CI and the Sida support in this respect provided targeted money with a huge spin off effect. These experiences were useful to develop an improve seed money mechanism. A condition of local and national funding of minimum 5000 USD (in cash or in kind) was introduced. Precise criteria for Sida funding was developed and approved by Sida staff during 2010. When the SICD trainers reported to Sida on the progress of Training Program August 2011 and the upcoming need for seed money from Sida, the Sida staff redefined the financial commitment to an ”idea”. The Sida staff recommended PACF to design an application with a broader scope and a focus on development of methodology. This change has complicated the relationship with actual Chapters of PACF and delayed the process. The requested application is developed and to be submitted shortly.