Inderscience Publishers

The knowledge economy: concept, global trends and strategic challenges for Africa in the quest for sustainable development

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This paper argues that Sub-Saharan Africa is a passive bystander in the global 'knowledge economy' race. In this race, success hinges on a country's capacity to develop and apply tacit knowledge to production systems, resulting in wealth creation and an enhanced quality of life. This race is currently led by four regions, called knowledge engines, namely, the European Union, East Asia, India and the USA. However, China, Brazil and others are making quiet strides as contenders. Africa's quest to join the race is crippled by complex problems which, arguably, are best solved through the adoption of modern knowledge systems and tools. In this Catch-22 situation, Africa can join the race only through pragmatic regional and global initiatives and resources, which would assist the region to develop the capacity to acquire the knowledge needed to pursue sustainable development. The paper suggests initiatives to radically hasten Africa's pace in the knowledge economy race.

Keywords: tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge, knowledge economy pillars, knowledge index, knowledge economy hurdles, Sub-Saharan Africa, sustainable development, sustainability

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