Information and communications technology capabilities, innovation and economic performance in Africa: The role of framework conditions, entrepreneurial activity and firm learning

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


This thesis comprises four empirical studies that contribute to understanding the links between ICTs, innovation and economic performance in African countries. The first part explores the pattern and supporting conditions of technology-based entrepreneurial activities (TBEA). The results demonstrate that the archetypical cases show consistency of TBEA with strong knowledge base and institutional conditions. The second empirical part finds that IT capability has a significant effect on innovation performance of firms. This effect is realised mainly through exploratory organisational learning. The third empirical part examines the effect of digital infrastructure on employment in services. It finds that the positive effect of digital infrastructure on services sector employment depends on education, institutional quality, and macroeconomic conditions. The fourth empirical part conducts a qualitative study of digital enterprises and strategies deployed in filling institutional voids in South Africa. The thesis puts forward reflections for advancing research and policies on the African digital economy.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Gault, Fred, Supervisor, External person
  • Wang, Lili, Co-Supervisor
Award date2 Mar 2023
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 2023

JEL classifications

  • o32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
  • o55 - Economywide Country Studies: Africa
  • l96 - Telecommunications


  • Digital technologies
  • Entrepreneurial activity and institutions
  • Economic development
  • Africa

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