Universities, poverty and technology management: Developing export markets for West African micro-enterprises | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1474-2748
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0551


To ensure that the benefits of economic development reach the African poor, action on income redistribution is necessary. In the mid-1990's, international aid funding was refocused from higher education into areas thought to be more directly compatible with the emergent poverty reduction priority. Recent rehabilitation of higher education is exemplified by the report of the Commission for Africa, which asked the international community to commit US 5 billion to revitalise Africa's institutions of higher education with a view to developing professional elites as the basis for global competitiveness and good government. Universities can make direct contributions to poverty reduction but not as a consequence of their traditional activities. Such contributions can be achieved through technology management projects whose benefits are directly relevant to the income of poor communities. An example of such a project is described involving the development of export trading for garment manufacturing micro-enterprises. Resolving issues relating to design, standardisation and quality control and scaling up has enabled the development of export markets, which directly connect the spending power of affluent European populations with poor communities in Ghana.


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