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The first day of the inaugural Africa Innovation Summit featured a plenary session on Best Practices in Innovation policymaking. It was a sensible place to start. But some of us have been talking about innovation in Africa for a long time. In 1998 the Africa Union’s Togo Plan of Action from suggested 1 per cent of each member state’s GDP should be invested in research and development. That’s how long this has been in discussion. Since then only four countries have made the target — Malawi, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda.

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