The West and Politics of Technology Transfer in the Third World Countries: Nigerian Experience

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The importance of international technology transfer (international transfer of technology) for economic development can hardly be overstated. Both the acquisition of technology and its diffusion foster productivity growth. As invention and creation processes remain overwhelmingly the province of the OECD countries, most developing countries must rely largely on imported technologies as sources of new productive knowledge. However, considerable amounts of follow-on innovation and adaptation occur in such countries. Indeed, these processes effectively drive technological change in developing nations. Developing countries have long sought to use both national policies and international agreements to stimulate international transfer of technology. National policies range from economy-wide programs (e.g., education) to funding for the creation and acquisition of technology, tax incentives for purchase of capital equipment and intellectual property rights. A prominent episode of international efforts to encourage international transfer of technology came in the late 1970s, when many developing countries sought a Code of Conduct to regulate technology transfer under United Nations (UN) auspices. It is difficult to regulate international transfer of technology effectively given the incentives for owners not to transfer technology without an adequate return and the problem of monitoring compliance with any rules that might be imposed. This helps explain why international transfer of technology is predominately mediated by national policies rather than by international disciplines. While some policies are subject to multilateral disciplines (e.g., subsidies, trade and IPR policies), the rules in place are primarily constraining in nature they define limits on what is allowed. Multilateral efforts to identify actions that governments should pursue to encourage international transfer of technology are largely of a best-endeavor nature. Starting in the mid 1990s, multilateral disciplines on international transfer of technology-related policies began to deepen. The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) calls on countries to enforce comprehensive minimum standards of IPR protection on a nondiscriminatory basis. It also has provisions relating to international transfer of technology.

STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM

The poor development of the third world countries has seen most of these countries being at the lowest level of world economics. This has resulted to western countries granting aids to these third world countries to improve their economics. In Nigeria, the lack of effective and efficient technology transfer from developed countries has been low and this has partly resulted to the current economic recession currently underway in the country. the lack of efficient technology transfer has been viewed differently by several school of thoughts, some school of thoughts are of the opinion that this is as a result of the deceit and lack of transparency by advanced countries in ensuring effective technology transfer while some others blame the poor working system of the country that has made in almost impossible to ensure receptivity.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The major aim of the study is to examine the west and politics of technology transfer in the third world countries. Other specific objectives of the study include;

To examine the importance of technology transfer in third world countries.
To examine the challenges of effective technology transfer in third world countries.
To determine the level of technology transfer evident in third world countries.
To assess the major international players in the west world as regards technology transfer.
To recommend ways of ensuring effective technology transfer in third world countries

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

What is the importance of technology transfer in third world countries?
What are the challenges of effective technology transfer in third world countries?
What is the level of technology transfer evident in third world countries?
Who are the major international players in the west world as regards technology transfer?
What are the ways of ensuring effective technology transfer in third world countries?

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study would be of immense importance to government at all levels and relevant stakeholders as it would examine the involvement of the western world and their politics to technology transfer in the third world countries, Nigeria inclusive. The study would also be of importance to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.

SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study is restricted to the west and politics of technology transfer in the third world countries with special emphasis of Nigeria.

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