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
Telephone: (617) 496-8127
May 9, 2014
Op-Ed, The Daily Nation
"...[A]ll major infrastructure projects should include specific engineering education objectives as part of performance. Expansion of telecoms infrastructure should include support for new electronics engineering schools. Examples of such efforts include the role of telecoms ministries in creation of new technology universities in Egypt, Ghana and Kenya."
May 2, 2014
"Calestous Juma on Being Pro-Africa, Why Africa Needs GM Crops, and How He Came to Be a Cheerleader"
Op-Ed, The Huffington Post
By April Zhu and Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa
"In 2012 alone, six African countries elected engineers for presidents; in fact, Africa currently boasts the highest number of presidents with technical backgrounds in the world. Independent African think-tanks like the African Centre for Technology Studies that Juma planted in 1988 — the first of its kind — are generating African perspectives on science, technology, and development. Although the cacophony of global debate surrounding Africa often drowns out the voices of Africans themselves, Juma knows that African leaders and youth can be immunized from outside opinions and interests if they can just be empowered to form their own. As their cheerleader, that is his goal."
March 26, 2014
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.
Journal Article, Journal of Policy and Complex Systems, issue 1, volume 1
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.
"...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
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.
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.
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.
December 12, 2013
"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
Op-Ed, Standard Digital News
"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."