Impact of Colonial Legacy on Development and Innovation in Africa

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Raphael Mateus Martins
Several Economic Historians have dedicated themselves to reveal the causes of the
economic backwardness the African continent has shown for several decades. More
recently, few economies in the continent have shown a strong increase in terms of
revenue. This thesis attempts to link previously led research in the context of colonial
legacy to the more recent notions of Innovation Capabilities which are seen as
an important attribute to achieve economic development. This thesis seeks, hence,
to join two Economic subjects that are rarely treated together: Economic History and
Innovation Economics. Colonialism is here defined as an exogenous shock. The empirical
setting aims at comparing 35 states in a span of 29 years and revealing the
consequences of such a shock on the cultural, institutional and economic setup of
colonized economies. Moreover, a special attention is given to the impact of continuing
relationships between the former colonizing power and the colony as a trigger
of convergence in terms of innovation capabilities and economic development. The
main findings suggest that Political and Social transformations during the colonial
period had a significant effect on the post-colonial Institutions. In a second stage, Institutions
demonstrated to be significant related with levels of Innovation and technology
as well as absorptive capacity suggesting that colonial transformation set the
base for Institutions with long term effects on the Economic Development of the
country. Furthermore, the continuing relationships between the former colony and
its colonizer have a mix effect and suggests thorougher investigation at the country
level. Finally, the Thesis sets the path to a possible way of defining new policy
implications taking into account the long-term effects of Historical legacy.
Publication date2017
Number of pages47
ID: 261390266