Africa is now in desperate need of entrepreneurial political leadership which seeks innovative and sustainable development pathways to address the plethora of current and emerging socio–economic and environmental challenges facing the continent. To meet the growing and changing economic aspirations of the largely young population, major productivity increases in agriculture and trade in value–added goods within and with the rest of the world are needed to create new economic and employment opportunities. This requires a major paradigm shift in the way Africa does business with its partners: moving away from heavy reliance on foreign aid and export of raw agricultural and other industrial materials to a new era of negotiated and mutually beneficial economic partnerships and trade. This new path for Africa's economic development must be underpinned by strong and sustained investment in Africa's innovation systems, including research to support and promote value addition, product development and manufacturing.
Keywords: innovation systems, R&, D, research and development, trade promotion, value–addition, entrepreneurial leadership, agriculture, political leadership, sustainability, sustainable development, socio–economic challenges, environmental challenges, economic aspirations, productivity increases, value–added goods, economic opportunities, employment opportunities, foreign aid, exports, raw materials, agricultural materials, industrial materials, economic partnerships, economic development, investment, product development, manufacturing industry, Ghana, South Africa, postharvest technology