43rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Peripheries, Centres, and Spatial Development in the New Europe", 27th - 30th August 2003, Jyväskylä, Finland
Keywords: Namibia, Regional Development, Innovation Systems, Planning During the last decade, globalisation and modern technologies have engendered as much challenges as opportunities for economies of many states in several respects. This is especially true for less developed countries such as Namibia. With the rapid introduction of new modern technologies and speedy disposal of the old ones; many nation states face a spatial change. Hypothetically, they respond differently to this challenge. Innovation diffusion implies the questions: by what criteria and for whom? Moreover, diffusion suggests a process of making new technologies adopted or made available over a wide geographically defined area. If indeed, there is a diffusion of innovations in Namibia, how is it taking place? In the age of globalisation, is it global forces that are ‘shipping’ new technologies to Namibia? Could it be that innovations are closely tied to the education system and the country’s multicultural set-up? Or, is it people/companies on the move who carry innovations with? And, what is unique about Namibia, regarding this process' This paper is an attempt to discuss the processes of technology and innovation adoptions in the sectors of agriculture, fisheries and mining in Namibia – in the context of regional and local development. The main research questions focus on: Which factors promotes innovations and which ones impedes innovations, and how does local conditions change, accordingly developing an economy from a resource-based to an information society? This work seeks to develop a theory that considers regional and local development as an output of interacting local actors - a kind of ‘Reflective causation’ of development. According to this approach, the spatiality of innovation adoption and the process of transformation are primarily induced by a network of internal forces motivated by history. In this context, history not from a nationalist perspective but from a spatial viewpoint, forms the basis of a nation’s identity and models a country’s economic development. In addition to an earlier hypothesis, other factors: market strategy, demand conditions, structural elements and global forces do not halt development, they broaden and amplify the spatiality of development. The data, which forms the basis of my analysis, will be drawn from key informant interviews from June to September 2002 in the Republic of Namibia.