Research Projects

The Open African Innovation Research and Training (Open A.I.R.) Project (ongoing)

This project is investigating how intellectual property (IP) regimes can be harnessed in Africa to facilitate innovation through collaboration – and through making processes more participatory, knowledge more accessible, and benefits more widely shared. Interconnected, empirical case studies are now underway, exploring a range of research questions in countries across the continent.

The case studies are connected to six Open A.I.R. themes: copyrights, patents, trademarks, the WIPO development agenda, the traditional knowledge (TK) commons and IP from publicly funded research. At the same time, the project is conducting foresighting research to develop scenarios for the future of IP, collaboration/innovation and development in Africa. Later in the project, training, capacity-building and policy engagement activities will be rolled out, based on the case study and foresight findings.

View OpenAIR videos here.

The African Copyright and Access to Knowledge (ACA2K) project (completed)

This project probed the relationship between national copyright environments and access to learning materials in African countries. The project looked at this relationship within an access to knowledge (A2K) framework — a framework which regards the protection/promotion of user access as one of the central objectives of copyright law.

This project was supported by Canada’s IDRC and South Africa’s Shuttleworth Foundation, and managed by the LINK Centre at the Wits University Graduate School of Public & Development Management (P&DM) in Johannesburg. It had  research nodes in eight African countries: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.

All project outputs, including a book entitled ‘Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright‘ are available for download here.


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