Staff Members

Home » Prof Erika Kraemer-Mbula
Erika's Photo

Professor of Economics
Name: Erika Kraemer-Mbula
Location: 69 Kingsway Ave, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, 2092 Johannesburg Business School
SARChI TRCTI Partners, TRCTI Members  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: 011 559 7447


About Prof Erika Kraemer-Mbula

Erika is a Professor of Economics and is currently the Chair holder of the DSI/NRF Trilateral Research Chair in Transformative Innovation, the 4IR & Sustainable Development, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development, based at the College of Business and Economics (University of Johannesburg) and in partnership with ACTS and SPRU. Her research unit at the University of Johannesburg is formed by a dynamic team of national and international researchers that engages in cutting-edge research; builds the capacity of younger scholars to help develop the next generation of African thinkers leading transformative change; and engages with policy makers, key stakeholders and research partners, to influence policy change. Trained as an Economist, she holds a Masters in Science and Technology Policy by the Science and Policy Research Unit (University of Sussex), and a doctorate in Development Studies from the University of Oxford.

Research interest:

Her work focuses on alternative development paths for African economies. She specialises in the analysis of innovation systems in connection to equitable development and inclusive development, and has done pioneering work on innovation in the African informal sector.

Besides her academic work:

Erika has undertaken a range of advisory assignments with international institutions (such as IDRC, TWAS, UNIDO, UNESCO, UNICEF, among others). Her experience in this area includes the evaluation of strategic innovation-related programmes of international donor organisations, designing and reviewing regional and national STI policies, as well as supporting the implementation of innovation strategies in African countries. In South Africa, she is currently an appointed member of the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Science, Technology, and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII), various Reference Groups at the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI), and a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Post-Covid socio-economic recovery (for the Department of Science and Innovation). She is also a member of several research networks on innovation and development – such President of Globelics, advisory board member of Africalics and Steering Committee member of OpenAIR.

Recent publications:

  1. Kaplinsky, R. and Kraemer-Mbula, E., 2022. Innovation and uneven development: The challenge for low-and middle-income economies. Research Policy51(2), p.104394.
  2. Mazibuko-Makena, Z. and Kraemer-Mbula, E. eds., 2021. Leap 4.0. African Perspectives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution: African Perspectives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. African Books Collective.
  3. Kraemer-Mbula, E., 2021. The African Development Bank. Regional development banks in the world economy, p.55.
  4. Simon Ramaoka, T. and Kraemer-Mbula, E., 2021. Technology transfer and absorptive capacities in South Africa’s medical device industry. African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, pp.1-13.
  5. Avenyo, E.K., Tregenna, F. and Kraemer-Mbula, E., 2021. Do Productive Capabilities Affect Export Performance? Evidence from African Firms. The European Journal of Development Research33(2), pp.304-329.
  6. Lema, R., Kraemer-Mbula, E. and Rakas, M., 2021. Innovation in developing countries: examining two decades of research. Innovation and Development11(2-3), pp.189-210.
  7. Walwyn, D.R. and Kraemer-Mbula, E., 2021. Captives of Capital? Exploring economic models as recursive and performative agents. Energy Research & Social Science78, p.102131.
  8. Lorenz, E. and Kraemer-Mbula, E., 2021. The impact of adopting 4IR-related technologies on employment and skills: The case of automotive and mining equipment manufacturers in South Africa1. Leap 4.0. African Perspectives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution: African Perspectives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, p.183.
  9. Adesida, O., Karuri-Sebina, G. and Kraemer-Mbula, E., 2021. Can innovation address Africa’s challenges?. African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development13(7), pp.779-784.