Knowledge and Innovation in Africa: Scenarios for the Future

Knowledge and Innovation in Africa: Scenarios for the Future grapples with the complex and dynamic forces that will shape innovation systems over the next two decades. The report distills three different but equally plausible future scenarios: one a world of “wireless engagement,” another where “informal is the new normal,” and a third that is “sincerely Africa.”

Shirin Elahi and Jeremy de Beer, with Dick Kawooya, Chidi Oguamanam, Nagla Rizk and the Open A.I.R. Network

ISBN: 978-1-55250-577-9

Published by Open A.I.R., 2013

Each scenario raises different issues for control of, and access to, knowledge in Africa. The key insight for policymakers, business leaders, scholars and civil society is that the question is not whether intellectual property rights will be relevant in the future, but rather which rights will be most important in different scenarios.

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 version of the book, or contact us to obtain a hard copy.