Knowledge sharing in the informal economy in Africa & the knowledge commons – who „owns“ knowledge? (part I)

December 12, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Africa

Here, I want to talk about one of the many interesting themes of the compendium „Innovation & Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa“, which was just released (see also this blog post): Knowledge sharing in the informal economy in Africa and the knowledge commons. [Both links above link to content within the Alumniportal Germany (register or login first to access the link)]

For the first time, we find here some concrete answers to two key questions, that haunts people interested in the linkage between (open) innovation, commons-approaches and „intellectual property“ (IP): Who „owns“ knowledge in informal economy contexts in Africa?

Let us look at the informal automotive sector in Uganda, as described by Dick Kawooya.

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Registration Open: Calling for Proposals – IP, Innovation and the Public Interest, December 2013 in Cape Town: user rights, access to medicines, enforcement, openness, traditional knowledge

July 4, 2013 in Freedom to innovate

Call for presentations and workshops

The programme is being developed through a collaborative planning process, via an open call for:

  1. presentations/papers related to five thematic tracks: (1) user rights; (2) access to medicines; (3) enforcement; (4) openness; and (5) traditional knowledge.
  2. participant-led workshops.

Proposed contributions should address one of the five thematic tracks, and should also shed light on the overarching theme: “Global questions, local answers“. What is the public interest in IP? Is it similar or different from place to place? What are the local priorities among the communities you work with? How are public interest IP research and advocacy activities connected? Which strategies are most effective for achieving positive change at the global or local level?

The deadline is 31 August 2013 for registered Congress & Conference participants to submit a proposal for a presentation/paper or workshop. The submission form is online via the Cape Town 2013 page.

Media and registration enquiries: Contact Congress & Conference Lead Coordinator Nan Warner on

Please pass this notice on to others who need to know. When tweeting about this Cape Town 2013 gathering, please use the #gcongress hashtag.

Open A.I.R. Conference on Innovation and Intellectual Property in Africa & 3rd Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

May 16, 2013 in Freedom to innovate

Are you interested in open innovation & the future of intellectual property in Africa? Or copyright, creative commons, openness, innovation, and the knowledge commons? Then check this conference announcement & join the open community of “Open African Innovation Research and Training” here:

Also, feel free to spread the word about the Open A.I.R. Conference on Innovation and Intellectual Property in Africa & 3rd Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest, 09. December 2013 to 13. December 2013, Cape Town, South Africa.

African fellows wanted on the “role of intellectual property in open development” in Africa …

January 31, 2012 in Freedom to innovate

This is an interesting call by the “Open African Innovation Research and Training” inititative, which is part of the GIZ commons@ip programme, which I run:

“The Open A.I.R. initiative on the role of intellectual property (IP) in open development invites applications for a three- or six-month Research Fellowship to work in Cape Town, South Africa, on the project’s research, outreach and training activities. Primary responsibilities will include conducting research on a case study within one or more of the project’s thematic areas, contributing to the development of outreach strategies and training initiatives, and helping to solidify and grow Open A.I.R.’s pan-African network.


Johannesburg: Balthas Seibold opens first regional course on Business and Open Source in South Africa

July 14, 2009 in Freedom to innovate, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business

zen_ict_new_logoHow can Southern African IT-businesses make money with Free and Open Source Software? – this one of the questions discussed at the regional course on “Advanced African Business Models with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)“. The two-week event started on July 13 at University of Witwatersrand, (Wits) in Johannesburg and is the first in a series of training-of-trainer (ToT) events in Southern and East Africa related to the programme “ict@innovation – – Creating Business and Learning Opportunities with Free and Open Source Software in Africa”. More on the course is online at the ict@innovation website, more on the programme, FOSS and Balthas’ work in Africa is in the section InWEnt: Africa & Open Source.