African Innovation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

By Chidi Oguamanam The third industrial revolution (3IR) provided perhaps the most significant insights into Africa’s potential to fast-track its...

AFCTFA: A Potential Boost for African Economies

By Eslam Shaaban In March 2018, the African Continent Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) was unveiled as the world’s largest...

US Fails to Block Progress over Genetic Resources Text at WIPO-IGC...

Photo credit: Image by Ville Oksanen via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) By Chidi Oguamanam, cross-posted from ABS Canada. After six days of deliberations (June 24-29, 2018) to secure...

A Data Commons for Food Security

Agricultural data is globally recognized for its importance in addressing food insecurity. We propose a ‘data commons’, formed through a licensing model that allows farmers to benefit from the datasets to which they contribute.

Invention in Africa: Open AIR shares its Model at CAAS 2019

By Uchenna Felicia Ugwu Africa is becoming recognized as an important hub of informal innovation,...

Challenging the Meaning of Innovation: Lessons from Refugee-Founded Organizations in Kampala

There is often a limited and constricted view of African innovation, especially when it comes to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). While there is the common perception that refugees on the continent are resilient, innovative, and resourceful, it is only in the sense that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Too often, refugees and IDPs are perceived as persons with only needs. The reality is that refugees and IDPs are just like everyone else and bring many skills, ideas, and innovations to the global marketplace, both the marketplace of ideas and of goods.

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.

Better metrics, better policies for knowledge and innovation in Africa

By Nagla Rizk The Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) leads the research on metrics, laws and policies within the Open African Innovation Research network...

The Intellectual Property Treaty Landscape in Africa, 1885 to 2015

This paper maps the 130-year history of the IP treaty landscape governing the protection of, and access to, knowledge in Africa.

Open Call for Case Studies

Open AIR is calling for African case studies that shed light on the following two overarching research questions: How can open collaborative innovation help businesses scale up and seize the new opportunities of a global knowledge economy? Which knowledge governance systems will best ensure that the social and economic benefits of innovation are shared inclusively across society as a whole?