Collaboration and Appropriation in Gauteng Makerspaces

Gauteng Makerspace Participant Conceptions of Innovation, Collaboration, Knowledge Appropriation and Outreach

The Researchers

Chris Armstrong
Sigfried Tivana
Erika Kramer-Mbula

About this Study

Across the African continent, the majority of business enterprises are informal. However, while the formal and informal sectors may seem separate, existing research has highlighted the fluidity of the formal-informal continuum in Africa, and the potential implications of such fluidity for innovation, collaboration, and knowledge appropriation. The global Maker Movement revolves around innovation by informal, collaborative, sharing-oriented collectives of “crafters, hackers, and tinkerers” working together in “Makerspaces”.

This study will use the values, objectives and activities of the Maker Movement as a lens through which to explore the dynamics of emerging African Makerspaces and the degree of connection and collaboration between the Makerspaces – inspired by a “hacker culture” and largely focused on technology development – and grassroots, informal-sector African innovators and entrepreneurs. Specifically, this study will explore the innovation, collaboration, knowledge appropriation, and outreach of Gauteng Province Makerspaces, and the degree to which Gauteng Makerspaces have, or could have, linkages with grassroots, informal-sector innovators and entrepreneurs.


The Open African Innovation Research Partnership