Inderscience Publishers

Internet development in Zambia: a triple helix of government-university-partners

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The ability of nations to generate and use advanced knowledge for industrial competitiveness is partly determined by the relationship between government, industry and research institutions as well as policies and regulations that govern the generation, transfer and commercialisation of new knowledge. African innovation systems do not seem to fit such a relation. This paper uses the development of the internet in Zambia, through commercialisation of a university based academic e-mail system into the country's first Internet Service Provider (ISP), to identify the relationship between government-university- (development) partners and to outline some important policy lessons where African universities could play a role as technology transfer agents. Finally, the paper proposes that a Triple Helix relation of Universities-Government-Partners may be important in transferring, adapting and mastering knowledge based technologies in Africa.

Keywords: internet, triple helix, innovation, commercialisation, Zambia, Africa, government-university-partners

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