Intellectual Property and Innovation: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa

Innovation and Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa is a book of real-world case studies that show how intellectual property can play a positive role in collaborative innovation systems if policymakers prioritise the public interest.

Editors: Jeremy de Beer, Chris Armstrong, Chidi Oguamanam & Tobias Schonwetter

ISBN: 978-1-919895-99-4

Published by UCT Press, 2013

The book contains chapters examining innovators in nine countries – Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa. These case studies explore many sites of innovation and creativity including music, leather goods, textiles, cocoa, coffee, auto parts, traditional medicine, book publishing, biofuels and university research. Copyrights, patents, trademarks, geographical indications and trade secrets, as well as traditional and informal mechanisms of knowledge governance are all explored in detail.

These publications are the work of dozens of members of the Open A.I.R. research network, which I co-lead, from a range of disciplines and working in 14 African countries, who conducted empirical fieldwork across some of Africa’s most important domains of innovation. Based on qualitative and quantitative data collected through surveys, interviews, focus groups, workshops and other participatory techniques, the research uncovered the ways in which intellectual property rights can impact openness and collaboration – now and in the future.

Visit the Open AIR project’s website to download the PDF or ePUB versions of the book, or purchase it through online retailers like and others.