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Calestous Juma

Mailing address

Littauer 356
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
79 John F. Kennedy Street, Mailbox 53
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Calestous Juma

Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: (617) 496-8127
Fax: (617)-495-8963
Email: calestous_juma@harvard.edu

 

Experience

Calestous Juma is Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project. He directs the Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and serves as Faculty Chair of Innovation for Economic Development executive program. Juma is a former Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and Founding Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi. He is co-chair of the African Union's High-Level Panel on Science, Technology and Innovation and a jury member of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. He was Chancellor of the University of Guyana and has been elected to several scientific academies including the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences, the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and the African Academy of Sciences. He has won several international awards for his work on sustainable development. He holds a doctorate in science and technology policy studies and has written widely on science, technology, and environment. Juma serves on the boards of several international bodies and is editor of the International Journal of Technology and Globalisation and the International Journal of Biotechnology. His latest book, The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. He is currently writing books on engineering for development and resistance to new technologies. Follow @Calestous on Twitter.

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By Date

 

2014

Martha Stewart Photo

March 26, 2014

"Pessimism of 20th-Century Global Policy Architects Stunted Developing Nations’ Economies"

News

By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

Influential economic ideas first advanced in 1911 — stressing innovation and entrepreneurialism as the fundamental generators of growth and wealth — were deemed inappropriate for developing countries, stunting progress in many parts of the world throughout the 20th century, says a distinguished Harvard academic.

 

 

EnzoRivos Photo CC

Spring 2014

"Complexity, Innovation, and Development: Schumpeter Revisited"

Journal Article, Journal of Policy and Complex Systems, issue 1, volume 1

By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

The role of innovation and entrepreneurship is increasingly getting policy attention in emerging countries. A growing body of literature is deriving its inspiration from the work of Joseph Schumpeter. His seminal 1911 book, The Theory of Economic Development, outlined a general framework for understanding the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in economic transformation. Despite Schumpeter's influence on economic policies in industrialized countries, there has been little application of his work in emerging countries.

 

 

February 2014

"Technology and the Reinvention of Education in Africa"

Book Chapter

By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

"...More recently, the MOOC promise has come under scrutiny as early evidence of its impact started to emerge. The rate of completion of MOOC-based courses was surprising low and their pedagogic contributions became uncertain. The evaluations, however, have failed to distinguish between the dynamics of early euphoric adopters and long-trends in technological innovation. There is a possibility that the MOOC revolution will follow the pattern of mobile phone adoption, favoring poor countries with outdated educational infrastructure and technology."

 

 

January 20, 2014

"Anti-Gay Laws and Corruption in Africa"

Op-Ed

By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

Africa's better days lie with a more tolerant future, not a past world that seeks to have a stranglehold on society by globalizing hate and entrenching it in national legislation.

 

2013

January 2014

Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2014

Report

By Haroon Bhorat, Temesgen Tadesse Deressa, Vanda Felbab-Brown, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Program on Intrastate Conflict, 2005–2007, Katherine Gordon, Project Coordinator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa, Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa, Mwangi S. Kimenyi, John W. McArthur, John Mukum Mbaku, John Page, Vera Songwe, Amadou Sy and Leslie Anne Warner

As Africa's position in the world continues to grow and evolve in 2014, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative continues its tradition of asking its experts and colleagues to identify what they consider to be the key issues for Africa in the coming year.

 

 

January 2014

"Leap-frogging in African Agriculture: The Case of Genetically Modified Crops"

Report Chapter

By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa and Katherine Gordon, Project Coordinator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

Calestous Juma and Katherine Gordon argue that biotechnology has the potential to exponentially raise Africa's agricultural production, increase food security, drive economic growth and save African farmers millions of dollars.

 

 

NASA Photo

December 12, 2013

"Space Research and Mobile Tech: Kenya's Next 50 Years"

Op-Ed, CNN.com

By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

"Data generated by the space program would be distributed through existing mobile networks and would add value to current investments such as the fiber-optic backbone. Such a program could help strengthen Kenya's role as a regional technology hub. Such a space program could also help Kenya monitor climate change and support decisions on critical regional resources such as Lake Victoria."

 

 

December 10, 2013

"Taking the Leap from Value Addition to Industrialization"

Op-Ed, Standard Digital News

By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

"Embarking on such a transformative agenda will take a number of decisive steps. First, it will demand a vision of Kenya that defines the country as a learning economy. Second, the Government — in partnership with the private sector and other sections of society — needs to focus on building the technical competence of the citizens. The power of change lies in human capabilities, not in natural resources. Third, upgrading technical training and entrepreneurial institutions should be undertaken by all Government ministries. The task of transforming Kenya into a learning economy cannot be adequately pursued unless the Head of State is supported on a regular basis by a presidential science, technology and innovation advisory council."

 

 

NM-AIST-Arusha Photo

December 6, 2013

"Mandela's Unsung Legacy of Science in Africa"

Op-Ed, New Scientist

By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

"Mandela will be remembered as one of the greatest leaders of all time. One of the best ways to live up to his loftiest aspirations for Africa is to give future generations science and technology education that gives them the skills to expand their economic opportunity. The next age of liberation will involve enabling Africa to play its rightful role in the global knowledge economy."

 

 

December 1, 2013

"Tabu Ley Did for Music What Cell Phones Have Done for Banking"

Op-Ed, Standard Digital News

By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

"Tabu Ley and his contemporaries such as Kasanda and Franco Luambo did for recorded music what mobile technology is doing for money transfer and mobile banking today. The combination of music recording and radio broadcasting provided Africa with an early opportunity to jump forward in an emerging technology. Its social, political, economic and cultural impact was profound. Like mobile phones, the adoption of sound recording was unfettered by incumbent technologies and trade unions."

 

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