Open Collaborative Models of Mobile Tech Innovation in Kenya

Reflections on Open Collaboration and Development: A Study on Knowledge Governance Systems of Mobile Technology in Kenya

The Researchers

Isaac Rutenberg
Jacquelene Mwangi
Victor Nzomo

About this Study

Intellectual property (IP) rights have been suggested as a means to create and manage knowledge, ensuring sustainability in the long run. However, previous research showed that African innovations are spurred by necessity, and that collaboration and open development are the key engines behind such innovation.

Kenya has grown into a buzzing environment for mobile application development. While IP has been said to be a key driver of innovation in the global knowledge economy, the budding mobile tech innovation in Kenya is informed by the need to solve local problems. Furthermore, this innovation mostly happens in tech hubs and incubation centres where opportunities are vast for open collaboration, mentoring, discussions and eventual development. This case study aims to determine if formal IP rights are necessary to promote both mobile innovation and sustainability.

The Open African Innovation Research Partnership