AJIC Issue 19, 2016

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AJIC Thematic Issue: Knowledge Governance for Development

The articles in this thematic issue of The African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC) examine elements of knowledge governance -- e.g., knowledge creation, access, use, sharing, transfer, management, appropriation -- in relation to socio-economic development in Africa.


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Now showing 1 - 13 of 13
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    AJIC Issue 19, 2016-Full Issue-Print-on-Demand Version
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15)
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    AJIC Issue 19, 2016-Full Issue
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15)
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    Conceptualising Knowledge Governance for Development
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Armstrong, Chris; Schonwetter, Tobias
    Through examining conceptions of the interface between development and knowledge, and conceptions of the notion of knowledge governance, this article provides a conceptual framing for the items published in this AJIC “knowledge governance for development” thematic issue.
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    Utility Model Protection in Kenya: The Case for Substantive Examination
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-11-15) Rutenberg, Isaac; Makanga, Lillian
    The patent-granting authority of the Kenyan government ceased examining applications for utility model certificates (UMCs) in 2014, after 20 years of examination. This event resulted in an immediate and dramatic increase in the number of granted UMCs. The authors reviewed a selection of UMCs, some of which were granted after substantive examination and some of which were granted without substantive examination. Errors were found in both groups, and the overall quality of granted UMCs declined after cessation of substantive examination. The authors conclude that a return to substantive examination of UMC applications would, on balance, be beneficial to Kenya’s innovative ecosystem, and recommend that such examination be reinstated.
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    Using the Living Lab Approach to Develop and Adapt a Context-Aware ICT4D Solution
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Ntawanga, Felix; Coleman, Alfred
    The rising use of mobile smartphones by people in rural areas of the developing world has resulted in increased deployment of information and communications technology for development (ICT4D) solutions targeted at empowering rural communities to overcome various socio-economic challenges. However, shortfalls in infrastructure, community buy-in, training, and management of ICT interventions are widely cited as impeding user acceptance and sustainability of potentially useful rural ICT4D interventions. This article outlines a deployment of the living lab approach to develop and adapt a mobile, web-based, e-procurement solution for small-scale retailers in Kgautswane, a remote rural area in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. The living lab approach is an open-innovation methodology for development of context-based sustainable ICT4D solutions.
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    Policy Modalities for Support of Ethiopia’s Creative Industries
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Belete, Wondwossen
    Creative industries are a rapidly growing sector in the global economy in terms of income generation, job creation, and export earnings. The creative economy, based to a significant extent on ideas rather than physical capital, offers new, high-growth opportunities for developing countries. The author of this article led a WIPO-commissioned study (Belete & Tadesse, 2014) of the economic contribution of the creative industries in Ethiopia. That study quantified the contribution of “copyright industries” to the country’s economy, and showed the sector’s great potential to contribute to sustainable development in the country. Alongside the vast opportunities offered by the creative industries, that earlier study also found a number of corresponding challenges that needed to be addressed by Ethiopian policymakers. In this article, the author provides a framework for understanding the policy issues at play in the Ethiopian creative industries sector and then brings that framework to bear on the findings of his earlier study (Belete & Tadesse, 2014). The result is a set of proposed policy measures that the author determines are necessary for optimal support of Ethiopia’s creative economy.
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    Assessing the Potential Role of Open Data in South African Environmental Management
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Adams, Rachel; Adeleke, Fola
    This study explores the possibilities for open data as a knowledge governance mechanism that could benefit environmental management in South Africa. The authors consider the potential benefits of open data in support of public participatory governance modalities, and the legislative frameworks and Constitutional Court stance in South Africa in support of the right of access to information and proactive disclosure of environmental information. The article also looks at potential barriers to effective use of open data in South Africa. The authors find that effective deployment of open data as a means to support participatory environmental governance will require a dedicated South African open data legal instrument, as well as political will to compile the necessary data, and steps to ensure meaningful citizen data access and use.
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    MOOCs as “Semicommons” in the Knowledge Commons Framework
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-11-15) Rother, Kyle
    The commons approach to knowledge governance is an increasingly popular and successful model for mediating and explaining the ways in which knowledge producers and users, institutions, and shared information resources, interact in social and cultural domains. There is a growing body of literature on the knowledge commons, to which this article seeks to contribute by offering an analysis of massive open online courses (MOOCs). The study outlined in this article deployed the knowledge commons research framework developed by Madison, Frischmann and Strandburg (2010). This framework attempts to align studies of knowledge commons by providing a structured yet flexible set of research questions that emphasise the dynamic relation between default governance regimes (such as proprietary intellectual property rights), tools and infrastructure, and social and cultural norms. The study determined that the MOOC environment exhibits some characteristics of a knowledge commons, and thus the Madison et al. (2010) framework can be productively applied in this context. In addition, the study found that, due to the generally conventional copyright paradigms and varying degrees of openness within the proprietary MOOC platforms, MOOCs can be considered a type of what Madison et al. (2010) term a “semicommons”. Furthermore, because access to learning resources, a key element of access to knowledge (A2K), is an important driver of development, and because openness is an important facilitator of that access, the semicommons status of MOOCs (as learning resources) to some extent mitigates their contribution to increased A2K.
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    Reflections on Intellectual Property Benefit-Sharing in Employment Situations in Ghana
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Adusei, Poku
    Among the key justifications for protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs) is that they incentivise and reward human creativity and innovation. The incentive/reward rationale is expected to foster a culture of innovation across jurisdictions and to provide sufficient motivation for further research and innovation. In this thematic report, the author explores the practical relevance of the incentive/reward justification for intellectual property (IP) protection in situations of employment. The author argues that in employment situations under Ghanaian law, the employer enjoys the economic benefits of the fruits of mental exertion to the detriment of the employee; the party actually engaged in the enterprise of creating IP materials receives insufficient incentives. This reality, the author argues, undermines the practical relevance of the core justification for IPRs protection.
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    Geographical Indications (GIs) as Tools for Agricultural Knowledge Governance in Selected East and Southern African Countries
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Dagne, Tesh
    This thematic report looks at geographical indications (GIs) as tools of knowledge governance in agricultural development in selected Eastern and Southern African countries. The author identifies features of GI law in these countries, and concludes that properly-crafted GIs can serve as tools for support of production and marketing of a wide variety of African agricultural resources.
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    Copyright, and Photographs or Videos of Public Art, in South Africa: An Imperfect Picture
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Van Wiele, Bram
    The rise of digital photography and videography has made the creation, sharing and commercialisation of high-quality photographs and videos more accessible, in terms of both cost and skills required. This thematic report examines the impact on copyright infringement of the increase in photographs and videos containing public art. It then analyses the applicability, for such photographs and videos, of the general exceptions for protection of artistic works in South Africa’s Copyright Act 98 of 1978. The author argues that the Act’s general exceptions are too ambiguous, and in at least one important case too narrow, and thus insufficient to cater to the current digital environment. Accordingly, the author proposes the introduction of broadened and clarified copyright exceptions that include fairness requirements.
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    Technology Transfer for Climate Change Mitigation: A Perspective from Kenya
    (2016-12-15) Mwaura, Caroline
    The impact of climate change continues to be experienced worldwide. Treaties such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of 1992 and the UNFCCC Paris Agreement of 2015 demonstrate the value that UN Member States attach to reaching consensus on climate change mitigation steps. In this thematic report, the author looks at the issue of climate change mitigation technology transfer (TT) from a Kenyan perspective, specifically with reference to Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP), and to provisions in Kenya’s patent law that are relevant to TT licensing agreements between foreign and Kenyan entities.
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    Review: On Intellectual Property Cooperation and the Public Interest in Africa
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Isiko Štrba, Susan