A Taxonomy to Understand Scaling of Innovation by African Enterprises


  • Chris Armstrong LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits); Centre for Law, Technology and Society (CLTS), University of Ottawa; Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3478-2579
  • Jeremy De Beer Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa; Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR); Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI); IP Unit, University of Cape Town https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9753-3708




Scaling, Innovation, Enterprises, Africa, Expanding coverage, Broadening activities, Behaviour change, Sustainability


Grounded in empirical research findings and key statements in the literature, this article proposes a four-part taxonomy for mapping African knowledge-based enterprises’ efforts to achieve scale. The taxonomy, adapted from the framework proposed by Uvin et al. (2000), is comprised of scaling by expanding coverage; by broadening activities; by changing behaviour; and by building sustainability. The article sets out the framework and provides examples of the four scaling dimensions from empirical research conducted in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa.


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How to Cite

Armstrong, C. and De Beer, J. (2021) “A Taxonomy to Understand Scaling of Innovation by African Enterprises”, The African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC). South Africa, (27). doi: 10.23962/10539/31370.



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