Report from scoping of innovation hubs across Africa. Profiling best practices to inform establishment of an energy innovation hub at the University of Rwanda
Report, 2020

Innovation hubs are being established across the globe as spaces and places where innovative ideas are nurtured and applied to solve emerging societal problems and market needs. There exists, today, more than 600 active hubs across Africa and the interest to establish new ones is widespread. The hubs are understood to have potential for supporting transformative economic growth and development in Africa, through innovation and entrepreneurship.
While hubs have largely been established and promoted by innovators and entrepreneurs independently, we are observing growing interest by public and academic institutions across the globe – also in Africa. These institutions are increasingly acknowledging the value of providing support directly to entrepreneurs and innovators by nurturing and protecting their ideas, also by providing safe spaces to ‘fail’. An additional value is the possibility to build social communities within hubs that bring together academics, students, NGOs, policy makers, government administrators, international support organizations, industry actors, innovators and entrepreneurs, community members, etc. Interactions among these so-called ecosystem actors contribute
to knowledge creation and provide new platforms that facilitate the development of knowledge economies.
This study reports on the findings from a scoping study aimed at profiling best practices among innovation hubs in Africa, while highlighting the values of university-embedded hubs. Forty Five (45) hubs and other relevant organizations were identified and studied, of which fifteen (15) were university-embedded. This study finds that university-embedded hubs can contribute significantly to the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems by creating a pipeline of students that have gone through ideation stage and are ready to be incubated either on campus or by existing independent hubs. Additionally, academics play an essential role of providing scientific inputs to the development of products, in analyzing market conditions, and in developing frameworks to evaluate the contributions of hubs towards societal transformations.


Sustainable energy


Innovation hubs

Triple Helix



Pauline Chepchirchir Cherunya

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Helene Ahlborg

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Other Social Sciences



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Latest update

3/8/2022 1