This paper looks at the conditions which will determine the engagement of the four IORA member countries in sub-Saharan Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa – with the other economies in the association. These four countries are not viewed in isolation from other African economies, given the increasing importance of the regional economic agreements which link them to the rest of the continent. The theoretical lens which is used in this examination is that of an innovation systems approach to development.
This paper develops and applies a concept of modes of innovation to the issue of economic development and the integration of African economies. This concept, which is located in the systems of innovation approach to economic dynamics, is first developed in the context of the development of capitalism. It is then applied to the evolution of African systems of innovation over three periods spanning colonialism, and the early and late post colonial periods to explore the shifting locations of African economies in the global economy.