Technologie und Weltwirtschaftliche Entwicklung

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30.04.2022
Sustainable Development Goal Nine And African Development – Challenges And Opportunities

Volume 22 (2020/21) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook was published in 2021 by the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen and LIT Publishers. The team of editors  (Tobias Knedlik, Samia Satti Osman Mohamed Nour, Anthony Ifeanyi Ugulu, and Karl Wohlmuth) have finalized the publication project at mid-2021. The volume 22 has three Units. The Unit 1 is on “Sustainable Development Goal Nine and Africa Development – Continental Perspectives”. The focus in the Unit 1 is on continental African issues of SDG 9. Unit 2 is on “Sustainable Development Goal  Nine and Achievements by Countries, Sectors and Targets”. The focus is to assess the performance on SDG 9 for sector cases (financial services and agriculture, energy and transport infrastructure, mining and social welfare). Unit 3 is on “Book Reviews and Book Notes”, mainly related to the publication on Sustainable Development Goals and explicitly on Sustainable Development Goal Nine.

A great number of experts have contributed to this impressive volume, which is one of the few publications highlighting the fundamental and complex issues around SDG 9 for Africa. The African Development Perspectives Yearbook is now an open access publication and is a peer-reviewed academic product. Over the decades (since the start of the publication project in 1989) the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, which is released annually from the Africa Research Group at the University of Bremen, became the leading English-language publication on Africa in Germany. As each issue has also a focus on Strategy, the book is of interest for African policymakers, donor agencies, journalists and media, regional and international organizations. As the 30 years Anniversary was celebrated in 2019, a Festschrift of contributors and supporters was published which contains a lot of information about the achievements and on the perspectives for the future work: https://media.suub.uni-bremen.de/handle/elib/4652?locale=de, and: https://doi.org/10.26092/elib/449

The new volume of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook for 2020/2021



Access for Download to Open Access and E-Book:
https://www.lit-verlag.de/isbn/978-3-643-91404-0

The book is described by the volume editors as follows: “Volume 22 (2020/2021) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title “Sustainable Development Goal Nine and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities” focusses on the relevance of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 (“Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation") for Africa’s development. In three Units key issues in the context of SDG 9 are analysed at the continental level and in country case studies.
Unit 1 presents in four essays the African continental perspectives and achievements - on developing productive capacities towards sustainable industrialization, supporting frugal innovations for bottom-of-the pyramid households, reorganising commodity-based industrialization through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and making foreign direct investment work for inclusive growth and sustainable industrialisation.
Unit 2 presents six essays which are focussing on aspects of the eight targets of SDG 9. Two essays discuss perspectives of agro-industrial development and of financial innovations for Sudan and Nigeria; two essays consider the future of renewable energy projects in urban and rural areas of Nigeria and Cameroon; and two further essays analyse the importance of the roads system in Sudan for structural transformation and the role of sustainable mining activities in support of social infrastructure for Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Unit 3 presents book reviews and book notes in the context of SDG 9, classified around 11 categories. Reviewed are publications on SDG 9 and interlinkages with other SDGs, global and regional reports of relevance for Africa, and new books on African studies.
Volume 22 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook is the first publication on the relevance of SDG 9 for African development.”

The theme “Sustainable Development Goal Nine And African Development – Challenges And Opportunities” is now of great importance for international development because assessing the performance of the Sustainable Development Goals has become a huge global task to guide politics. And, the SDGs are negatively affected by COVID-19 so that new actions are requested to reach the goals in difficult times. Various organizations do researches in and for Africa to assess the performance of the SDGs.

Important actors and analyses are found in the following links and texts:

UNIDO, Africa and SDG 9: https://www.unido.org/who-we-are/unido-and-sdgs/africa-and-sdg-9
UNDP, Goal 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: https://www.africa.undp.org/content/rba/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure.html
United Nations South Africa, Sustainable Development Goal 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: https://southafrica.un.org/en/sdgs/9
United Nations, SDG 9,Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal9
The Global Goals, SDG 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: https://www.globalgoals.org/goals/9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure/
The Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa, the SDGs and the Sustainable Development Goal 9: https://www.facebook.com/SDGCAfrica/
West African SDGC/A Sub-regional Centre in Monrovia, Liberia (about the establishment of a new SDGC/A centre): http://sdg.iisd.org/news/sdgs-center-for-africa-establishes-west-african-center/
UNECA (IPRT/Integrated Planning and Reporting Toolkit) and SDG 9: https://iprt.uneca.org/agenda/sdg/overview/9
African Development Bank (AfDB), Mission & Strategy, the Bank’s work around the SDGs: https://www.afdb.org/en/about/mission-strategy

The editors of volume 22 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook had the privilege to cooperate with many of these organisations and with various other research and policy institutions doing projects on the SDGs in and for Africa.

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26.08.2021
Global Technology Trends and Adaptations of Enterprises in Africa – A new Research Report by Professor Karl Wohlmuth

Professor Karl Wohlmuth has written a new research report on global technology trends and the adaptations of enterprises in Africa (see the PDF in the Blue Series Discussion Papers of IWIM: PDF-Langfassung-WWC-Heft Nummer 129). This report is part of the research programme by the professor on “Digital Transformation in Africa”.

In this contribution it is investigated how African countries can benefit from global technological developments, based on their own technological and scientific competencies and their institutional systems of innovation. The global technological dynamics reveals that the speed of technological development is increasing rapidly, what has to do with the new digital competencies which are prevalent in society and which are intensively used in science, technology, and innovation (STI) activities. Also, the global innovation competition is increasing, and it will further intensify. Africa will be able to benefit from these global technological developments if policies are adapted so that technology absorption and digital transformation are progressing. Windows of opportunity are emerging as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) advances in implementation. In the phase 2 of the AfCFTA an African Common Market will be established, so that the African enterprises will face a new environment for their businesses; competition and market development will be enhanced. In this context also the technologies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will be used to increase the productivity of the African companies, but these technologies also matter for various social areas and public policy fields, such as health, sanitation, and education. The COVID-19 crisis has given evidence that the digital transformation was accelerating in recent months in Africa; the 4IR technologies are used already in the health sectors of the African countries (but also in other sectors). It is becoming obvious that technological catching-up is determined strongly by the speed of digital transformation. The African Leapfrog Index (ALI) is a useful instrument and measures how African countries can leapfrog new global technologies through their own STI institutions and the available national innovation capacities. The African Leapfrog Index shows that catching-up processes can be very dynamic in Africa, although there are significant differences between countries and sectors in the processes of digital and technological change. The initial structure of the country, the economic geography, the digital and technological readiness, and the policies pursued matter a lot.

Most relevant for digital and technological catching-up processes in Africa are the enterprises (small and large ones, domestic and foreign ones, those in state’s property and those in private property). When considering the dynamics of enterprises in Africa, one can see that there are enterprises which have the ability and strength to shape the market conditions and to reconstruct the business conditions in markets (the so-called “African Challengers”, a term introduced by The Boston Consulting Group/BCG). But there are also some few enterprises in Africa which have global importance in affecting markets and business conditions (the so-called “Global Challengers”, also a term introduced by The Boston Consulting Group/BCG). Although the various components of the digitalization process in enterprises have a different scope and depth, one can say that already many African enterprises follow a pro-active strategy of digital transformation. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can also facilitate the development of so-called “Technology Challengers” (also a term introduced by BCG) in Africa with enterprises which are leading in specific technology fields being of relevance to Africa. These enterprises can have impact on issues which are determining the global competitiveness of African products and services. Technology Hubs and Technology Start-ups are of growing importance for Africa, although the concentration of them in a few African countries is not a positive trend for the many other African countries; their enterprise dynamics is negatively affected. But new developments show also that alternative forms of technology hubs and start-ups are emerging in Africa which may contribute to the dynamics of technology development. These alternative forms are not primarily profit-oriented, but are of collective interest; these are solidarity, cooperative, and social ventures. These enterprises are less hierarchical in organization and less controlled by private capital; they are less structured from the top and less organized through central public interventions. The innovative business actions are coming rather from the bottom and through local actors and decision-makers.

The large technology enterprises, the technology start-ups, and the technology hubs in Africa are supported by various excellence research institutions which are affiliated to universities and to private and public research institutions and agencies. The excellence research centres are focussed on key problems of social and economic development in Africa. In the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) these excellence centres can lead - according to their specialisation - to a network of scientific division of labour all over Africa, by giving impulses to established and new technology enterprises. The excellence research institutions and the technology enterprises will contribute in their environment to a more productive private sector and to a deepening of Africa’s integration process. The economic and the scientific division of labour will be supported all over the AfCFTA by new Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) policies for the continent. The Strategic Science and Research Policy of the African Union (AU) is now based on the Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy For Africa 2024 (STISA-2024). With STISA-2024 a frame was created to impact on six (6) major research priority fields which were selected as most relevant research priorities for Africa to advance STI. These six research priority fields reflect on the one side the relative strength of Africa’s research capacities and the abundance of productive factors in Africa, and on the other side the opportunities of Africa-wide new research initiatives a) for eliminating the many communication barriers of integration in Africa, especially through new infrastructure projects, b) for protecting the environment and the natural resources in Africa, especially by water management and new satellite navigation technologies, and c) for networking the plans, ideas and activities of economic and scientific actors in Africa, especially by introducing new STI policies.

The next volume of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook (Volume 23/2022) will consider in depth the issues of “Digital Transformation in Africa”. Business opportunities in Africa through digitization will be reviewed for countries, sectors and enterprises, and African start-ups will be analysed in their new roles for entrepreneurship development. Units on West Africa, Cameroon and South Africa will be presented in the volume with numerous essays. But there will also be individual essays to survey the theme of “Digital Transformation in Africa” in analytic essays. The book reviews and book notes section (a whole Unit of volume 23/2022) will give information on most recent publications in the field (see the link for the Call for Papers on volume 23/2022: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/index.php?content=345&lng=de, and: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/african_development_perspectives_yearbook/).

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26.08.2021
Ein neuer Wissenschaftsblog von Karl Wohlmuth: „Globale Technologieentwicklung und Afrikas digitale und technologische Aufholprozesse“

Zugang zum Blog Weltneuvermessung (Internetversion): https://weltneuvermessung.wordpress.com/2021/06/08/globale-technologieentwicklung-und-afrikas-digitale-und-technologische-aufholprozesse/, und zur PDF: https://weltneuvermessung.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/weltneuvermessung-wohlmuth-globale-technologieentwicklung-und-afrika-5-2021.pdf

Kurztext zum Blog: „Afrika steht weltweit noch am Anfang der Vierten Industriellen Revolution, in der die digital gesteuerte Produktion mit Künstlicher Intelligenz verbunden wird. Gleichwohl besteht gerade heute für einige afrikanische Länder die historische Chance, im Rahmen eines „leapfrogging“ die technologische Kluft gegenüber den etablierten Industrieländern zu überspringen und mit lokalen Technologien den Entwicklungsrückstand des Kontinents zu verringern. Welche Länder hierbei die besten Aussichten haben und welche Anforderungen sich an den internationalen Technologietransfer jenseits der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit stellen, untersucht der Beitrag von Prof. Dr. Karl Wohlmuth von der Universität Bremen.“

Der Blog des Bremer Afrikaexperten Karl Wohlmuth mit dem Titel „Globale Technologieentwicklung und Afrikas digitale und technologische Aufholprozesse“ geht von den globalen Technologietrends aus, die sich für die nächsten Jahre abzeichnen. Insbesondere die Verknüpfung von technologischer und digitaler Entwicklung wird diskutiert. In einem weiteren Schritt wird darauf eingegangen, wie Afrika pro-aktiv reagieren kann. Die Entwicklung zur „Afrikanischen Kontinentalen Freihandelszone“ ist wohl von entscheidender Bedeutung, um die technologischen und digitalen Nachhol- und Aufholprozesse zu stützen. Bereits jetzt zeigen sich Anwendungsfelder für Technologien der Vierten Industriellen Revolution (4IR-Technologien) in mehreren afrikanischen Ländern. Neue Instrumente zur Messung der Veränderungen, wie der African Leapfrog Index (ALI), zeigen, dass die digitale Transformation in Afrika zügig voranschreitet, und auch die Fähigkeit zunimmt, globale Technologien kostengünstig zu absorbieren, obwohl diese Prozesse ungleichzeitig und ungleichmäßig erfolgen. In einem Ausblick wird von Professor Karl Wohlmuth auf die Chancen und auf die Herausforderungen für Afrika eingegangen.

In einer neuen Studie geht der Bremer Afrikaexperte ausführlich auf die Rolle afrikanischer Unternehmen und afrikanischer Startups bei den technologischen und digitalen Aufholprozessen ein (vgl. die Studie „Globale Technologieentwicklung und Afrikas digitale und technologische Aufholprozesse – Wie agieren die Unternehmen?“, veröffentlicht in Berichte aus dem Weltwirtschaftlichen Colloquium der Universität Bremen, Nr. 129, August 2021, 61 Seiten; Zugang: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/blaue_reihe/, und: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/blaue_reihe/). Eine umfassende Abhandlung zum Thema der digitalen Transformation in Afrika ist in Vorbereitung als Band 23 (2022) des African Development Perspectives Yearbook mit dem Titel: “Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation in Africa” (Info und Zugang: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/index.php?content=345&lng=de, und: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/african_development_perspectives_yearbook/).

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01.02.2021
Globalization, Populism and Extremism: The January 6, 2021 mob attack on the US Congress and Adolf Hitler’s failed 1923 Munich Beer Hall putsch

In his statement “Sliding Doors: The Day US Democracy Almost Died” (see the blog on the homepage of Thomas Palley, Co-editor, Review of Keynesian Economics: https://thomaspalley.com/?p=1902) we find the following words:

“Sunday January 10, 2021. It is now four days since the January 6 mob attack on the US Congress which President Donald Trump incited. In a manner akin to a combat situation, the numbness induced by the overwhelming nature of the event is giving way to shock and anger. What is also becoming clear is just how close US democracy came to dying.
The film Sliding Doors begins with two different scenarios in which the course of the main protagonist’s life depends on whether or not she catches the subway by seconds. The events of January 6 have a Sliding Doors quality to them.
It now seems the attack has backfired for Trump and turned into a political fiasco. That fiasco resonates with Adolf Hitler’s failed 1923 Munich Beer Hall putsch (German for coup) – though lest we get carried away, let us not forget Hitler returned and took power ten years later, and we all know what followed.
Hitler’s failed Munich putsch is one scenario. The other scenario is the Bolshevik Party’s sudden seizure of power in St. Petersburg, Russia in October 1917. That coup succeeded and launched a totalitarian dictatorship that was to last almost seventy-five years.
It is easy to imagine a scenario in which Trump’s mob had been better organized and more ruthless, and in which they had seized Congress and summarily executed Democratic Senators and House members – along with Senator Mitt Romney, who has been heroic in his opposition to Trump. That would have left a rump majority of willing accomplice Republicans, plus a smaller group of Vichyssoise Republicans who meekly towed the line.
In that imagined scenario, Trump would have been able to declare a state of emergency which would have been supported by the military, under orders from his Secretary of Defence henchman. The rump Republican Party would likely have rubber stamped everything. In one swoop, US democracy would have been felled, in a manner similar to the Bolshevik takeover of Russia.”

 
Source: The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/06/trump-capitol-american-carnage-washington; Story: American carnage: how Trump's mob ran riot in the Capitol

In his E-Mail to colleagues Thomas Palley writes: “I have posted (see the PDF: Palley-Globalization, January 2021) a new research paper titled ‘National Policy Space: Reframing the Political Economy of Globalization and its Implications for National Sovereignty and Democracy’. The terrible political events of the last few months make it even more urgent that we unpack the political economy of the last forty years and its corrosive effects. I hope the paper can contribute to unpacking globalization’s contribution to the toxic brew.”

The paper is important as it shows that there are different alternatives to organize globalization to the benefit of the world economy, to the benefit of all geo-political regions, and to the benefit of the people, and that some alternatives are associated with the chance to preserve national sovereignty and democracy. When four  economists published nearly 20 years ago an essay on the issue “How much globalization does the world bear?”, the collaborating economists had something like a political economy view in mind, although quite different theoretical views were prevalent in the group. A short summary in English of the study „Wie viel Globalisierung verträgt die Welt?“  is found below, an article written by Hans-Werner Sinn, Michael Rauscher, Rainer Bartel, and Karl Wohlmuth (Link to the article which is available for a download at: https://www.ifo.de/publikationen/2002/zeitschrift-einzelheft/ifo-schnelldienst-242002). The Abstract reads as follows:

“The term globalization has dominated the public debate for years. For some the opening of markets has not gone far enough, for others globalization has led to further inequalities between economies and has enlarged the distance between industrial and developing countries. Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn discusses the economic forces that have been released in the globalization process. In the opinion of Prof. Michael Rauscher, Rostock University, globalization will undoubtedly continue to progress, but it does not only need international co-ordination. On the contrary, in a globalized world there are good arguments for the subsidiarity principle: Problems should be dealt with and solved at the lowest possible level. Many problems that arise in connection with globalization can be managed at the national level. Also for Prof. Karl Wohlmuth, Bremen University, the structure of globalization is the determining issue. What is important for him is "the extent to which there is a willingness to adapt national and international framework conditions to the speed of globalization". For Prof. Rainer Bartel, Linz University, globalization must be "efficient" and "sustainable" but "scientists and politicians are still not ready for this". We now know that such analyses and recommendations remained confined to the academic circles; a real political shaping/reviewing/controlling/transforming of the globalization process was not done, neither at the national level, nor at the global level.

The Globalization Pentagon: Globalization traps, globalization trilemma, globalization dimensions (drivers), globalization phases, and globalization speed
Too many economists, political scientists and sociologists who were working on globalization issues followed the mainstream view that “the more globalization is enforced, the better the results for all will be”, assuming that the welfare effects will trickle down to all nations and to all people, But, neither the poverty of people, nor the poverty of regions were eliminated (SDG 1: No Poverty), and neither the lower middle class, nor the upper middle class have enjoyed stable jobs, social security, and sustainable income increases (SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth). Increasing inequality within countries and between countries occurred and became a growing burden (SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities). We speak now not only about a “middle-income trap” but also about a “high-income trap”. And all this has a lot to do with the globalization process as it unfolds. It is necessary to study these globalization traps and to work hard along the lines of identifying the causes of the two traps as these are associated with a severe globalization fatigue. The globalization trilemma is a second area for studying globalization as the tensions between globalization, the nation state, and the democracy are prevalent. Also, third, it is necessary to work more on the globalization dimensions/drivers (global trade of goods and services, global technology flows, global value chains, global financial flows, and global labour flows). Fourth, the globalization phases have to become more deeply researched, as the turn from globalization 3.0 (with computers, automation, and robots) to globalization 4.0 (with digitalization, industry 4.0, and artificial intelligence) will impact heavily on the stability of jobs and the changes of income distribution. Lastly, a fifth factor of research interest is the globalization speed, observed by the rapid growth of scientific and technological developments in conjunction with digitalization; this process will change the outlook for globalization quite rapidly. In order to control populism and extremism in conjunction with globalization processes, such researches along this pentagon are urgent. Professor Karl Wohlmuth researches since many years on this globalization pentagon, on these interconnected five elements of globalization. But, policy action on the basis of the globalization pentagon is most urgent to avoid populism and extremism.

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01.02.2021
Advising on African and Global Studies – Festschrift 30 Years African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Innovation Policies in Bremen, World Economy Transitions and COVID-19, Cooperation with the University of Bremen Archives, and Evaluation of Working Programmes, Manuscripts and International Study Programmes

Recent months were busy times for Economics Professor Karl Wohlmuth. He guided the project “Festschrift Anniversary of Thirty Years (1989-2019)  of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook”. The Festschrift was finalized as a first edition in November 2020, and the second edition appeared in January 2021. The University of Bremen has republished the Festschrift as a major document on its media platform. The number of contributors to the Festschrift was very high, and the response to make recommendations for a further quality increase was great. It was proposed to move with the Yearbook to an open access system; negotiations are now underway. A great number of suggestions came in to make the Yearbook a real platform for success stories and sustainable reforms in Africa. It was decided by the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen to publish a Festschrift, as a physical celebration of the Thirty Years Anniversary was not possible because of COVID-19.

Professor Wohlmuth and the editors of volume 22 (2020/21) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook have in the meantime finalized the new volume. It is now in the process of publication. The new volume has two Units with twelve chapters and a further Unit with book reviews and book notes. Professor Wohlmuth and the team of Unit Editors have introduced the content of all the three Units. The volume is quite relevant as the theme “Sustainable Development Goal Nine and African Development” touches issues of promoting industrialization, developing infrastructure, and building innovation capacity in Africa. Also, the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen has released in December 2020 the new call for papers for volume 23 (2022) on “Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation in Africa”. A Unit  on “COVID-19 and repurposing industries in Africa” and Units with country cases  of digital transformation and digital entrepreneurship are envisaged. There is already great interest to become part of the new Yearbook project.

Professor Reuben A. Alabi from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria has finalized important research work for international and regional African organizations, and for the Yearbook in cooperation with Professor Wohlmuth. Also, a major research report by the two professors came out on “Waste Management Policies in Nigeria and Germany”, with a focus on the municipalities of Lagos and Bremen. Professor Alabi has also finalized a study on “Financial innovations and agricultural development in Nigeria”. The study is part of his research programme “Environment and Development Management Nigeria-Germany”. He will now take up again his duties as a full professor of agricultural economics at Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria. In the Festschrift “Thirty Years Anniversary of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook” he gave an account of the role the Yearbook has played for enhancing reforms in Africa. Professor Alabi will continue his work as co-editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook.

Professor Wohlmuth was active in evaluating applications for professorship, research manuscripts, and international study programmes. He was again appointed as a member of a promotions committee for professors (associate and full professors) at a university in Michigan, USA. He did reviews for development economics and environmental economics journals. He evaluated international study programmes in Tajikistan. This work was possible only in the form of virtual meetings, what limits considerably real evaluations. Tajikistan is reforming its study programmes also in the field of economics. The study programmes related to economics and business studies in Tajikistan intend to support also the research component, especially so in the direction of increasing the competitiveness of the Tadjik economy. It was found out during the meetings that more international cooperation of teachers and researchers and higher financial support for individual research programmes are quite necessary. While the leading staff persons of the  universities in Tajikistan are linked to the government offices and/or the traditional elites, the young teachers and researchers are mobile, motivated, mostly English-speaking, and interested to cooperate with universities in countries of the European Union and with universities in other geo-political regions (USA, China, Russia, India).

The Government of Bremen is on the move to develop a new “Innovation Strategy for the Country State of Bremen 2030” to replace the outdated Innovation Programme 2020 and the Cluster Strategy 2020. Professor Wohlmuth works on the issues of innovation and technology policy of Bremen since the 1980s when his institute produced a handbook “Bremen as a location for high technology industries”. In recent months, Professor Wohlmuth has contributed essays on new innovation policies for Bremen to support  in this way a new innovation strategy for Bremen. The COVID-19-crisis gave an additional push for reforms of innovation policies as many industries in Bremen are severely affected, because leading cluster industries (space and aircraft industries, automotive sector, logistics and transport industry, tourism, and others) have to overcome the crisis in the medium- to long-term. The main issue is to combine new cluster and innovation strategies with a strategy to navigate the industries out of the COVID-19-crisis. The Professor has emphasized five elements of an action programme for Bremen (institutional reform component; strengthening the regional innovation system; value-added-focussed and employment-oriented component; further developing the health, medical support, and care sector; and supporting digitalization).

Professor Karl Wohlmuth has accepted the offer of the University of Bremen Archives (Universitätsarchiv) to transmit a considerable part of his scientific research and teaching fundus, with materials classified on eight categories (first, Teaching  Projects since 1971; second, Integrated Introductory Study Programmes in the 1970s; third, Research and Consulting Activities on Sudan 1978-2021; fourth, Researches on African Development since the 1970s, Consulting on Africa since the 1980s, and Editing/Publishing the African Development Perspectives Yearbook since 1989; fifth, Shaping the development of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies since 1971; sixth, Organising the research, teaching, advisory, and training activities as the Director of the World Economy Research Group since the 1970s and of the IWIM/Institute for World Economics and International Management since 1987; seventh, Developing the international cooperation projects since 1971 for the University of Bremen, for the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, and for IWIM; and eighth, Documenting the personal development and the career of Karl Wohlmuth since the 1960s). Professor Wohlmuth celebrates in September 2021 50 years as professor of comparative economic systems at the University of Bremen, as he moved to the new university in September 1971. He came from the Institute for the Theory of Economic Policy at the FU of Berlin after work periods in Vienna and in Linz, Austria. He was part of a small group of professors who were in the first weeks of the new university appointed in meetings of the whole Senate of the Country State of Bremen, while months later the calls to Bremen and the appointments of professors were done by the Senator of Education and Science. An audio file of an interview with Professor Karl Wohlmuth about his life, his scientific work, and his experiences at the University of Bremen is also available in the University of Bremen Archives.

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31.01.2021
„Innovationsstrategie Land Bremen 2030“ – Globale technologische Trends und COVID-19 bestimmen die Richtung und das Tempo der notwendigen Anpassung

Das Land Bremen ist dabei, die „Innovationstrategie Land Bremen 2030“ in den nächsten Wochen fertigzustellen. Ein umfassender Strategieprozess ist seit Monaten im Gange. Dazu finden sich bemerkenswerte Aussagen der Initiatoren (vgl.: https://www.bremen-innovativ.de/innovationsstrategie-2030/):

“Im Jahr 2030 wird unsere Welt eine andere sein. Digitale Technologien wie die künstliche Intelligenz werden alltäglich in Industrie und Dienstleistungsbranchen eingesetzt, Fahrzeuge mit grünem Wasserstoff betrieben. Soziales Unternehmertum geht gesellschaftliche Herausforderungen neu an. Branchengrenzen verschwimmen zunehmend und der Wandel wird zu unserem stetigen Begleiter.

Eine Zukunftsvision, an der heute schon gearbeitet wird. Denn was wir heute behutsam pflanzen, wächst morgen kräftig heran. Das Land Bremen will überall, wo an diesen Veränderungen gearbeitet wird, zielgerichtet unterstützen und entwickelt dazu eine „Innovationsstrategie 2030“. Diese bezieht wichtige Zukunftstrends mit ein: das Älterwerden unserer Gesellschaft, die Digitalisierung oder die Energiewende, um nur einige zu nennen. Die Strategie soll zu einer Grundlage für künftige Entscheidungen im Land Bremen werden. Zum Beispiel in der Förderung innovativer Unternehmen durch das Land und die Europäische Union.“


Quelle: https://www.bremen-innovativ.de/


Ein umfassender  Planungsprozess ist in Gang gesetzt worden, und wichtige Akteure aus Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft, Politik und Gesellschaft sind beteiligt.
Obwohl es schon über mehrere Jahre Überlegungen gibt, das aktuelle Innovationsprogramm 2020 und die Clusterstrategie 2020 weiterzuentwickeln, wird nun seit Juli 2020 intensiv an der Fertigstellung der neuen Strategie gearbeitet; im April 2021 soll die Strategie vorliegen. Nach einer Bestandsaufnahme wurde ein partizipativer Strategieprozess eröffnet und im April 2021 soll die bereits abgestimmte Strategie vorliegen (vgl. zu diesem Prozess die verschiedenen Hintergrundpapiere und Stellungnahmen: https://www.bremen-innovativ.de/innovationsstrategie-2030/; https://www.bremen-innovativ.de/hintergrundwissen-innovationsstrategie-2030/; https://automotive-nordwest.de/online-auftaktveranstaltung-innovationsstrategie-land-bremen-2030/; https://www.senatspressestelle.bremen.de/detail.php?gsid=bremen146.c.345782.de&asl=bremen146.c.19206.de; und ein relevanter Beitrag  der Arbeitnehmerkammer von Steffen Gabriel aus dem Bericht zur Lage 2019: https://arbeitnehmerkammer.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/Jaehrliche_Publikationen/Lagebericht_2019_Gabriel_Innovationsstrategie.pdf). Die Kommentare der wichtigen Akteure in Bremen zeigen, dass nicht nur die Innovationsstrategie des Landes auf den Prüfstand muss, sondern praktisch alle Strukturprogramme des Landes neu vermessen werden müssen (Strukturkonzept, Masterplan Industrie, Maritimes Aktionsprogramm und Hafenkonzept, Wissenschaftskonzept, Fachkräftestrategie, EU-Strategie, Umwelt- und Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie, etc.).

Die meisten dieser Programme sind bereits im Jahr 2010 oder kurz danach vorgelegt worden. Es ist daher Eile geboten. Der Zeitfaktor spielt eine immer größere Rolle bei der Nutzung von Wachstumschancen. Erstens beschleunigen sich die globalen technologischen Entwicklungen rasant, und die Digitalisierung ist nicht nur ein nützliches Instrument, sondern zunehmend auch ein integraler Bestandteil der weiteren wissenschaftlichen und technologischen Entwicklung. Zweitens zeigt die COVID-19-Krise schon jetzt Langzeitfolgen für die Wirtschaftsstruktur in Bremen, denn die Navigation aus der Krise erfordert strategisches und taktisches Geschick, und zwar auf der Basis von Projektionen und Szenarien der Strukturentwicklung. In mehreren Beiträgen wurde bereits in Bremen auf diese Herausforderungen aufmerksam gemacht (vgl. vor allem die Universität Bremen/HWWI-Studie 2020: HWWI Policy Paper 128).

Jetzt liegt auch eine Studie von Professor Karl Wohlmuth vor, die in der Reihe „Globalisierung der Weltwirtschaft“ des IWIM als Band Nummer 45 erschienen ist. Der Titel der StudieDie Innovationspolitik in Bremen – Herausforderungen durch die globalen Technologietrends und COVID-19“ verweist auf die neuen Herausforderungen und Schwerpunkte, die bei der „Innovationsstrategie Land Bremen 2030“ berücksichtigt werden sollten. Die Studie ist als Band 45 in der Reihe „Globalisierung der Weltwirtschaft“ erscheinen und ist als Download verfügbar (http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/weisse_reihe/). In der Studie werden in einem ersten Teil die Trends der globalen technologischen Entwicklung diskutiert, und zwar auf dem Hintergrund der Beschleunigung des gesamten Digitalisierungsprozesses. In einem zweiten Teil wird auf das Innovationsprogramm 2020 und auf die Clusterstrategie 2020 des Landes Bremen eingegangen, und es werden die Faktoren erläutert, die bei einer neuen Innovationsstrategie 2030 nun berücksichtigt werden sollten. In einem dritten Teil wird auf Handlungsfelder Bezug genommen, die dazu beitragen könnten, die Resilienz der bremischen Wirtschaft zu erhöhen. Fünf strategische Handlungsfelder werden für Bremen ausgewiesen. Die Studie ist auch als PDF verfügbar (Wohlmuth-Die Erneuerung - 2020).

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31.01.2021
Thirty Years (1989 - 2019) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook – Impacts on Policy Reforms in Africa – A second edition of the “Festschrift” is now available.
A second edition of the “Festschrift” was published recently by the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen at the occasion of the 30 years anniversary of the Yearbook. The title of the Festschrift is “Thirty Years (1989 - 2019) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook – Impacts on Policy Reforms in Africa”. It was compiled by Professor Karl Wohlmuth, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany, Director of the Research Group and Chief Editor of the Yearbook since 1989 (see the PDF under Wohlmuth-Festschrift Thirty Years). While the first edition appeared in November 2020, the second edition is from January 2021. The Festschrift is now also published by the Library of the University of Bremen (link: https://doi.org/10.26092/elib/449).

The Festschrift contains various statements and chapters to celebrate the work over 30 years. In Foreword and Acknowledgements by Professor Dr. Karl Wohlmuth the history of the Yearbook project is presented. The Statements by the University of Bremen for the Press (in English and German) inform about the character of the annual publication on Africa and about the ambitions for the future work of the Research Group.

In Chapter 1: How did It Start: The Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen and the Formative Years of the Yearbook, there is a description of the work of the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen and an essay by the co- founder of the Yearbook project Professor Dr. Robert Kappel, Professor at Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany, and former president of GIGA, Hamburg, Germany about “The Formative Years of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook”.

In Chapter 2: What were the Topics: Thirty Years (1989 - 2019) of Africa’s Development and the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, there is for all volumes a short description of the Selected Theme, the Content of the Volume, the Highlights of the Volume, the Cover of the Book, and information about the Units of the Volume.

In Chapter 3: Who Did Cooperate and Why: The Statements of Supporters, Editors, Contributors, Reviewers, there is a great number of statements by cooperants to give an account of their affiliation with the Yearbook and with the Research Group, specifically about the type, the years, and the forms of cooperation, the main messages for and the impressions about the Yearbook, and the Proposals for the Future of the Yearbook.

In Chapter 4: How to prepare for the Future: Proposals for important Themes, changes of Format, and the adaptation of the Working Procedures we find a Statement by the Managing Editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Professor Dr. Tobias Knedlik, University of the Applied Sciences Fulda, and Research Professor IWH Halle, Germany, and a Statement by the Book Reviews and Book Notes Editor of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Professor Dr. Samia Satti Osman Mohamed Nour, Full Professor at the University of Khartoum, Sudan and member of numerous international research and advisory institutions. Also, the Key Pillars of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook are considered to answer the question: What should be preserved? Then, there is a presentation about The Future of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook: What should be changed?

Finally, the Festschrift contains information about accessing all the volumes and how to contact the editorial group; this is found under the title: The African Development Perspectives Yearbook: Information to access the volumes. This part has also relevant information about Websites, Contact, Wikipedia entry about the Yearbook, and the Imprint.

The Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen is presenting soon the volume 22 for 2020/2021 about “SDG 9 and Africa” (see the entry on the homepage) and has submitted an International Call for Papers for Volume 23 (2022) on the theme “Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation in Africa” (see the entry on the homepage). There is already great interest in reading volume 22 (2020/2021) and to become part of the new Yearbook project for volume 23/2022 (see the entry on the homepage: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/african_development_perspectives_yearbook/). The International Call for Papers for volume 23 (2022) is available as a PDF: International Call for Papers Volume 23).
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31.01.2021
Struktureller Umbruch durch COVID-19 – „Veränderte weltwirtschaftliche Rahmenbedingungen für wirtschaftspolitisches Handeln in Bremen“ im Blick der Ökonomen

In der Studie „Struktureller Umbruch durch COVID-19 - Implikationen für die Innovationspolitik im Land Bremen“ findet sich auch der Beitrag der drei Entwicklungsökonomen und Professoren Hans-Heinrich Bass, Robert Kappel und Karl Wohlmuth zu dem Thema „Veränderte weltwirtschaftliche Rahmenbedingungen für wirtschaftspolitisches Handeln in Bremen“ (Kapitel 9). Die von der Universität Bremen und vom HWWI (Hamburgisches WeltWirtschaftsInstitut) im Jahr 2020 herausgegebene Studie geht in 9 Kapiteln auf die Herausforderungen für Bremen durch COVID-19 ein (HWWI Policy Paper 128). In vier Teilen der Studie werden Themen wie Innovation und Gründungsgeschehen; Urbane Entwicklung und Nachhaltigkeitsinnovation; Finanzwissenschaftliche Aspekte; und Globale Märkte und Wertschöpfungsketten abgehandelt. Aus unterschiedlichen wissenschaftlichen und politischen Perspektiven werden die Implikationen für die Innovationspolitik in Bremen abgehandelt, die sich aus der COVID-19-Krise ergeben. Im Beitrag in Kapitel 9 (Veränderte weltwirtschaftliche Rahmenbedingungen für wirtschaftspolitisches Handeln in Bremen) wird auf fünf Gruppen von weltwirtschaftlichen Veränderungen eingegangen (Globale Technologietrends; Globalisierung 4.0; Globaler Wettbewerb der Wirtschaftsräume; Globale Makroökonomie und internationale Finanzmärkte; und Globale ökonomische Ungleichheiten und Armut). In einem Fazit wird erläutert, was in Bremen beachtet werden muss und wie die Innovations- und Wirtschaftspolitik reagieren kann.

Die Studie ist im November 2020 erschienen und hat bereits große Aufmerksamkeit in Fachkreisen gefunden. Es zeigt sich, dass das Land Bremen die Aufgabe ernst nimmt, die Strukturen der Wirtschaft und auch die Wissenschaftslandschaft an die neuen Realitäten der Weltwirtschaft durch COVID-19 anzupassen. Die Konrektorin der Universität Bremen, Prof. Dr. Jutta Günther, und der Leiter der Bremer Niederlassung des HWWI, Dr. Jan Wedemeier, betonten in einem Pressegespräch die Bedeutung der Studie für die Reform der bremischen Wirtschafts-, Struktur- und Innovationspolitik. An der Studie haben, wie der Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaft der Universität Bremen betont, 18 Ökonominnen und Ökonomen mitgewirkt.

Zugang zur Studie und Einschätzungen: ECONSTOR: https://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/226491?locale=de; HWWI: https://www.hwwi.org/publikationen/policy-paper/publikationen-einzelansicht/struktureller-umbruch-durch-covid-19-implikationen-fuer-die-innovationspolitik-im-land-bremen.html?no_cache=1; Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/346037358_Struktureller_Umbruch_durch_COVID-19_Implikationen_fur_die_Innovationspolitik_im_Land_Bremen; Presseportal Universität Bremen: https://www.presseportal.de/pm/100150/4755466; Hochschulkommunikation und -marketing der Universität Bremen: https://www.uni-bremen.de/universitaet/hochschulkommunikation-und-marketing/aktuelle-meldungen/detailansicht/covid-19-brennglas-fuer-innovationspolitik-und-strukturwandel-in-bremen; Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaft der Universität Bremen: https://www.uni-bremen.de/wiwi/news/detailansicht/18-oekonominnen-und-oekonomen-eine-studie-folgen-der-corona-pandemie-fuer-die-wirtschaft-im-land-bremen-1

Der Bremer Wirtschaftsprofessor Karl Wohlmuth hat einen Teilaspekt aus seiner Forschungsarbeit für die oben erwähnte Studie zwischenzeitlich vertieft. Er befasste sich in einer längeren Arbeit mit den Auswirkungen der globalen Technologietrends und der COVID-19-Krise auf die Reform der Innovationspolitik des Landes Bremen (die „Innovationsstrategie Land Bremen 2030“ wird von der Senatorin für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Europa in den nächsten Wochen fertiggestellt), Die Studie von Professor Wohlmuth ist als PDF und als Download verfügbar (vgl. die PDF Wohlmuth-Die Erneuerung und/oder eine leicht veränderte Fassung in der Reihe „Globalisierung der Weltwirtschaft“ des IWIM, Nummer 45: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/weisse_reihe/).

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31.01.2021
“Sustainable Development Goal Nine and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities”: A forthcoming volume of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook

The African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Volume 22(2020/2021) with the title “Sustainable Development Goal Nine and African Development – Challenges and Opportunities” is now finalized by the publisher. The Volume 22 (2020/2021) focusses on the relevance of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 (“Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation") for Africa’s development. In three Units key issues in the context of SDG 9 and its eight targets and twelve indicators are analysed at the continental level and in country case studies.

Unit 1 presents in four essays the African continental perspectives and achievements - on developing productive capacities towards sustainable industrialization, supporting frugal innovations for bottom-of-the pyramid households, reorganising commodity-based industrialization through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and making foreign direct investment work for inclusive growth and sustainable industrialisation.

Unit 2 presents six essays which are focussing on aspects of the eight targets of SDG 9. Two essays discuss perspectives of agro-industrial development and of financial innovations for Sudan and Nigeria; two essays consider the future of renewable energy projects in urban and rural areas of Nigeria and Cameroon; and two further essays analyse the importance of the roads system in Sudan for structural transformation and the role of sustainable mining activities in support of social infrastructure for Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Unit 3 presents book reviews and book notes in the context of SDG 9, classified around 11 categories. Reviewed are publications on SDG 9 and interlinkages with other SDGs, global and regional reports of relevance for Africa and/or coming from Africa, and new books on African Studies.

Volume 22 of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook is the first comprehensive publication on the relevance of SDG 9 for African development. See the focus on SDG 9 in the United Nations system: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030-goal9.html, by UNDP: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure.html, by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs: https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/space4sdgs/sdg9.html, and by The Global Goals initiative: https://www.globalgoals.org/9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure. Also in and for Africa SDG 9 is intensively researched now by UNIDO: https://www.unido.org/who-we-are/unido-and-sdgs/africa-and-sdg-9; by UNDP: https://www.africa.undp.org/content/rba/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-9-industry-innovation-and-infrastructure.html; by the SDG Philanthropy Platform: https://www.sdgphilanthropy.org/SDG-9-in-Africa-by-2030; and by the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network:  https://s3.amazonaws.com/sustainabledevelopment.report/2020/2020_africa_index_and_dashboards.pdf. The new study by the Research Group on African Development Perspectives Bremen is presenting in Volume 22 (2020/2021) a collection of analytic essays and country case studies.

In the meantime, a Festschrift was published at the occasion of the 30 years anniversary of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook (1989-2019). A second edition was just released (see: Wohlmuth-Festschrift Thirty Years). It contains information about the formative years of the project, a description of the volumes over the thirty years by themes, messages and highlights, and comments and statements by contributors, supporters, and editors. Also, the new International Call for Papers for volume 23 (2022) was released some weeks ago (see: International Call for Papers Volume 23). Over the years, the African Development Perspectives Yearbook became the leading annual English-language publication on Africa in Germany.

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31.01.2021
“Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation”: International Call for Papers, African Development Perspectives Yearbook, Volume 23 (2022)

Invited are contributions for Volume 23 (2022) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook with the title “Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation in Africa” (International Call for Papers Volume 23, 2022). The contributions should be evidence-based and policy-oriented. High academic standards are requested and will be reviewed by referees. Non-technical papers with deep analysis, which are readable by practitioners in development cooperation and by media people, have a high priority in the selection process. The analytical concept of the proposed contribution and the methodological framework of analysis should be outlined in the Abstract which is submitted to the Editors.

The theme for volume 23 (2022) on “Business Opportunities, Start-ups and Digital Transformation in Africa” is related to the ongoing global digital transformation, with impacts on productive sectors and the society also in Africa. African countries are differently advancing in the process of digital transformation, and some countries are even leading in this process by presenting digital solutions to current problems as we can see now in the COVID-19 crisis. The COVID-19 crisis reveals that health systems, education systems, government structures, financial services, and manufacturing processes are impacted by the digital transformation. Digital platforms give access to medical innovations, give information about hygiene advice, and provide for local availability of health protection utensils so that those living in remote rural areas and in semi-urban areas can also be reached. Those who are working in informal sector occupations get also access to digital media. In manufacturing sectors, we see a process of repurposing of industries towards basic goods for protecting people from COVID-19. We also encourage contributions along these lines.

The volume 23 (2022) of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook will cover three main issues:

First, the new business opportunities created by the digital transformation will be reviewed. Consumers, producers, traders, and entrepreneurs benefit from the new business opportunities. New products, new services, new forms of cooperation, and new supply chains emerge.

Second, the digital transformation increases the number of start-ups and venture capital funds in Africa. All types of start-ups are growing rapidly in Africa, and digital entrepreneurship is advancing not only in technology hubs but in all areas where Internet access is given. The many emerging start-ups (in all productive sectors and in all branches of digital transformation) and finance institutions (from venture capital funds to impact, innovation and technology funds) are important for employment creation, structural transformation, poverty reduction, and the connection to local, regional and global markets.

Third, there are longer-term implications of the digital transformation for the productive sectors, mainly for manufacturing sectors and for agribusiness. But there are also strong impacts on services and administration sub-sectors.

It is an intention to publish in volume 23 country-specific, company-specific and sector-specific digital transformation cases, company success stories, but also analytic essays on the perspectives of the “fourth industrial revolution” for Africa and on the impacts of “globalization 4.0” on Africa. It is also of great interest to see how informal sectors can become part of the core economy in Africa through the digital transformation. COVID-19 is affecting the pace of the digital transformation in Africa, and this process needs to be documented.

The Book Reviews/Book Notes Editor (Professor Samia Nour, University of Khartoum) invites authors, research institutes and publishers to send books, discussion papers, documents, and journals for review. The material should be related to the theme of volume 23 (2022).

To get an overview of the African Development Perspectives Yearbook project please look at the links: http://www.iwim.uni-bremen.de/africa/africanyearbook.htm, and: https://www.karl-wohlmuth.de/african_development_perspectives_yearbook/.

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