Open AIR publications

A Framework for Assessing Technology Hubs in Africa

This article fills a gap in the research on technology hubs in Africa. It explains the importance of hubs as drivers of technological innovation, social change, and economic opportunity within and beyond the African continent. The article is the first to thoroughly review and synthesize findings from multi-disciplinary grey literature, and integrate insights from qualitative data gathered via interviews and fieldwork. It identifies three archetypes of hubs—clusters, companies, and countries—and discusses examples of each archetype using Kenya as a case study. The article discusses potential collaboration, conflicts, and competition among these archetypes of hubs, and concludes with recommendations for future researchers.

Evidence-based Intellectual Property Policymaking

Governments have long been interested in making intellectual property (IP) policy based on sound evidence. There is a large body of literature addressing the economic impacts of IP, but little of it is accessible to policymakers. This article aims to improve understanding of how IP contributes to the economic performance of a country’s innovative sectors. A detailed literature review and meta-analysis identifies existing methodologies and analytical frameworks. None of these frameworks alone are fully capable of providing complete, reliable information about the economic importance of intellectual property in any one particular country, and explain why. An approach that positions and integrates various frameworks, methods and data sources is, therefore, appropriate. The key challenge for the future is to connect empirical data and micro-economic analyses about firms’ strategic responses to IP policy changes with statistics and macro-economic insights on overall economic performance or social welfare.

Open Innovation in Development: Integrating Theory and Practice Across Open Science, Open Education, and Open Data

This article integrates the concepts of open innovation and open development. It extends the theory of open development beyond the field of information communications technology to address aspects of innovation systems more generally


Innovation and Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa

This 2014 book, based on case studies and evidence collected through research across nine countries in Africa, sheds new light on the complex relationships between innovation and intellectual property.


Knowledge and Innovation in Africa: Scenarios for the Future

The authors trace the contours of knowledge and innovation in Africa from the founding civilizations to today’s current realities, and then set out the drivers of change that can be expected to shape innovation systems on the continent between now and the year 2035.

Briefing Note: Innovation Linkages between Formal & Informal Sectors

Briefing Note: Innovation Linkages between Formal and Informal Sectors

Highlights the findings from Open AIR researcher Dr. Dick Kawooya’s study of innovation dynamics in the automotive engineering sector of Uganda’s capital city Kampala.


Briefing Note: Managing Benefits from Traditional Knowledge (TK)

Research findings and recommendations from an investigation of the knowledge management practices of a collective of traditional healers in Bushbuckridge, South Africa.


Briefing Note: Place-Based Branding for Locally Specific Products

Outlines findings from Open AIR research into potential use of communal intellectual property (IP) protection by tie-and-dye textile artisans in the Nigerian city of Abeokuta.


Briefing Note: Optimising Benefits from Publicly Funded Research

Highlighting Open AIR research findings on apparent disconnects between African national policymaking on intellectual property (IP) from publicly funded research and the actual current realities of university research.

D2ASA book cover (2)-resized

L’accès au savoir en Afrique : le rôle du droit d’auteur

Ce livre, publié en 2011, est la traduction du livre de 2010 intitulé Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright. L’ouvrage s’inspire des travaux du projet Droits d’auteur et accès au savoir en Afrique (D2ASA, ou African Copyright and Access to Knowledge (ACA2K) en anglais), un réseau de recherche qui a exploré les liens entre les droits d’auteur et l’accès au savoir dans huit pays d’Afrique, à savoir l’Afrique du Sud, l’Égypte, le Ghana, le Kenya, le Maroc, le Mozambique, le Sénégal et Ouganda. Le D2ASA-ACA2K réseau, de 2007 à 2011, était le réseau précurseur d’Open AIR.

ACA2K book cover-large-cropped

Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright

Outlines the African Copyright and Access to Knowledge (ACA2K) network’s research findings on the copyright environments of eight African countries: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.

ACA2K-2010-Comparative-Review-Cover-324px wide

Comparative Review of Research Findings

Outlines the context for the ACA2K research and provides a comparative analysis of  findings and recommendations, across the eight ACA2K study countries, in relation to copyright environments and learning materials access.

ACA2K 2009-WIPO Briefing Paper 3-cover-324px wide

WIPO Briefing Paper 3

This December 2009 Briefing Paper by Open AIR’s precursor network, African Copyright and Access to Knowledge (ACA2K), was distributed in Geneva to participants at the 19th Session of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). The paper aimed to ensure that SCCR 19 deliberations took proper cognizance of the realities of African access to copyrighted learning materials.

ACA2K-WIPO-Briefing-Paper-2-cover-324px wide

WIPO Briefing Paper 2

This May 2009 Briefing Paper was distributed in Geneva to participants at the 18th Session of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR). The paper aimed to make SCCR delegates aware of the ACA2K research programmed aimed at generating evidence for evidence-based international copyright policymaking.

ACA2K-WIPO-Briefing-Paper-1-cover-324px wide

WIPO Briefing Paper 1

This April 2009 Briefing Paper was distributed in Geneva to participants at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP). The paper aimed to illustrate the relevance of ACA2K research to the WIPO Development Agenda, which was under discussion at CDIP.