Category Archives: Events

IP Implications for Food Security in Africa

Cross-posted from U of S Plant Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre By Uchenna Ugwu  Can you tell me a bit about yourself? I am a PhD student at the University of Ottawa. I received my Masters in Public International Law in England at the University of Leicester. I currently focus on international intellectual property law … Continue reading IP Implications for Food Security in Africa


Making at AFRICAOSH Summit 2018

By Outlwile Maselwanyane  The first gathering for Africa Open Science & Hardware (AfricaOSH) was hosted by Kumasi Hive innovation hub, Kumasi, Ghana, on April 13-15 2018. AfricaOSH is a diverse, global community working to enhance the sharing of open, scientific technologies in Africa. The summit gathered together makers, practitioners, civil society, academics and researchers from … Continue reading Making at AFRICAOSH Summit 2018


Les Fablabs en Afrique : une utopie à l’épreuve des réalités locales

By Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou Du 6 au 10 mai 2018, la ville de Dakar accueillait le Festival Afropixel 6 sur la thématique « Utopies non-alignées : Imaginaires numériques ». À cette occasion, j’ai été invité (en compagnie de Daniel Sciboz) à préparer et modérer le débat qui s’est tenu le 08 Mai 2018 au Kër Thiossane sur … Continue reading Les Fablabs en Afrique : une utopie à l’épreuve des réalités locales


Historic Gathering of Africa’s Open Science Hardware (OSH) Innovators – the AfricaOSH Summit, Kumasi, Ghana

By Chris Armstrong  Open AIR was privileged to be a supporting partner of the inaugural AfricaOSH Summit, held 13-15 April 2018 at the Kumasi Hive innovation hub in Ghana’s second city – and home of the Ashanti people – Kumasi. The global open science hardware (OSH) movement has built significant momentum in recent years, notably … Continue reading Historic Gathering of Africa’s Open Science Hardware (OSH) Innovators – the AfricaOSH Summit, Kumasi, Ghana


Reconciling Intellectual Property Rights and African Development: The Right to Development Conference Charts the Way Forward

By Uchenna Felicia Ugwu In September 2017, the Thabo Mbeki Foundation[i] and the Centre for Human Rights (CHR)[ii], Faculty of Law University of Pretoria gathered together a group of academics and business persons at a conference to discuss “Regional Perspectives on the Right to Development.”[iii] At this conference I had the honour of presenting one of … Continue reading Reconciling Intellectual Property Rights and African Development: The Right to Development Conference Charts the Way Forward


The Many Faces of Scholarly Communications

By Nagham El Houssamy The FORCE11 Scholarly Communications Institute was held at the University of California San Diego from 31 July until 4 August 2017. This was the first of what will become an annual one-week training and is open for anyone to register and attend. The course is especially useful for early-career researchers who … Continue reading The Many Faces of Scholarly Communications


Open AIR NERG presents at Windsor Symposium on Copyright User Rights and Access to Justice

By Uchenna Ugwu How can “user rights” and exceptions to copyright be used most effectively to ensure access to knowledge for all? This question is a very important one because access to knowledge is so integral to innovation. In May 2017, the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor convened the Copyright User Rights … Continue reading Open AIR NERG presents at Windsor Symposium on Copyright User Rights and Access to Justice


Open Data’s Effect on Food Security

Agricultural data is a vital resource in the effort to address food insecurity. This data is used across the food-production chain. For example, farmers rely on agricultural data to decide when to plant crops, scientists use data to conduct research on pests and design disease resistant plants, and governments make policy based on land use data. As the value of agricultural data is understood, there is a growing call for governments and firms to open their agricultural data.


Common Misconceptions of Patents in Egypt

Earlier this year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held a two-day workshop on “Supporting Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Use the Intellectual Property System in Their Competitive Strategy” at the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology in Cairo, Egypt, which some of our Open AIR NERG members attended. The goal of this meeting was to discuss how to encourage young innovators to protect their inventions by patenting them at the Egyptian Patent Office. The workshop had vibrant and sometimes heated discussions between these innovators and government officials regarding many of the obstacles faced in the patenting process in Egypt.


Dr Henry Mutai

Open AIR East Africa Distinguished Speaker Series: Dr. Henry Mutai on IP, Trade and Regional Integration in Africa

On 10 June 2015, the Agreement establishing a Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) was signed in Egypt bringing together 26 African countries from three major regional blocs: the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Following the signing, the current phase of the TFTA negotiations are meant to cover five agenda items: trade in services, cooperation in trade and development, competition policy, intellectual property (IP) rights, and cross-border investment. The fourth of those five issues was the subject of the second Open AIR East Africa Distinguished Speaker Series presentation by Dr. Henry Kibet Mutai.


Open AIR hosts South African Maker Movement Workshop

Enthusiasts and researchers gathered on Friday, March 3, 2017 to share research on the growing African maker movement. The workshop was hosted at the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa.


WIPO 33rd IGC Session Puts Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs) on the Spotlight

The WIPO-IGC recently commenced the next installment of its deliberations for a text-based instrument that focuses on the protection of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs), pursuant to its mandate. There are two scheduled forums on TCEs beginning Feb 27-March 3 and to be completed in June 2017, which will round off the Committee’s work for the 2016-17 biennium.


Open AIR Students Present at Carleton’s Institute of African Studies

Back in October 2016, three of our Open AIR Research Fellows had the unique and rewarding opportunity to participate in the Second Annual Institute of African Studies Undergraduate Research Conference at Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies. Undergraduate researchers from across the globe presented their research findings on a wide breadth of topics – from fiction describing Nigerian culture, to professional development for youth in South Africa, to political structures that influenced the welfare state in Tanzania and Kenya.


Open AIR North Africa Distinguished Speaker Series: Ibrahim Al-Safadi on Makerspaces and Employment Opportunities

On 10 December 2016, as part of the RiseUp Summit in Cairo, Open AIR’s North Africa hub hosted their first Distinguished Speaker event with Ibrahim Al-Safadi, the CEO of Luminous Education. The Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) invited Al-Safadi to speak about the role of “makerspaces” to tackle unemployment and to share his experiences in how to create a makerspace that ensures that the individuals involved end up with jobs.


El Houssamy Presents at Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit

The Summit was part of a series of events that took place in Egypt in conjunction with the Global Entrepreneurship Week. A2K4D’s Senior Research Officer, Nagham El Houssamy, participated in the summit, speaking on the Data-Driven Innovation Panel on Friday, November 18.