Kenyan Community Benefits From Its Genetic Resources

Bogoria Geyser

In Kenya, residents living around Lake Bogoria in Baringo County have received Kenya shillings 2.3 million, about USD 26,000, as royalties paid by a Danish bio-enzyme company.

UNCTAD Forum: Local Drug Manufacturing A Key To Universal Health Coverage

Michel Sidibé Executive Director of UNAIDS at UNCTAD Investment Forum

Local production of medicines in developing countries is key to advancing universal health coverage, but other factors need to be considered, such as the involvement of all stakeholders and policy coherence in governments, according to speakers attending the World Investment Forum this week. Several speakers called for a paradigm shift in global health.

IT Innovation Supporting Home-Grown Solutions In Uganda

Participants in Uganda IT workshop

With the world’s youngest population, fast-rising access to internet and rapid spread of the use of mobile phones, Ugandans are starting to embrace information and communication technology innovations. This is confirmed by the increasing number of mobile and web applications with working prototypes developed in the country.

UPOV Governing Body Meets This Week Amid Civil Society Concerns Over Harmonisation

Plant Variety - Flickr - Dwight Sipler

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is holding meetings of its governing and technical bodies this week. In particular, the UPOV Council is expected to renew Francis Gurry’s mandate as the organisation’s secretary-general, approve technical documents, and confirm the conformity of a Tanzanian plant breeders’ rights act.

Meanwhile, civil society has sounded the alarm over what it considers to be efforts to harmonise the application and examination procedures by the seed industry. Separately, a civil society study, carried out on three developing countries claims that UPOV 1991 might be threatening the global right to food.

“Trade Matters” For BRICS In Africa, So Does Internet Connectivity

publicForumLogo 2014

Last week’s World Trade Organization Public Forum hosted dozens of panels on the general theme of “why trade matters.” A panel focusing on the role of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) found that the new BRICS Development Bank could foster infrastructure development in Africa, while another panel said that removing barriers to internet connectivity is key to economic growth.

Alarm Over Monsanto-Backed Push To Acquire African Seed Company

Maize seeds - Flickr - Ian Hayhurst

An African civil society group has voiced concerns about the takeover by giant multinational seed companies of home-grown African seed companies, the latest of which involves Africa’s SeedCo.

Formal IP System Does Not Fit Africa, LDCs Need Technological Capacity, Speakers Say

Tobias Schonwetter

On the last day of the World Trade Organization Public Forum, a panel discussed the relationship between intellectual property and innovation in Africa, in particular in the informal sector. The formal IP system does not seems to fit, and least-developed countries need a sound technological base to be able to use the IP system. Separately, a European Patent Office study shows that Africa has a vast yet untapped potential in renewable energy.

Uganda Government Moves Towards Top-Level Domain Management

Uganda Internet Luwana

The use of internet continues to grow rapidly in Uganda. The Uganda Communications Commission’s quarterly report reveals that the country had over eight million internet users by the end of first quarter of 2014.

Now, the government of Uganda is involved in a struggle over who should have the custodial rights to manage the .ug domain, the country’s Country Code Top-Level Domain, (ccTLD), which is currently run by a third party.

African Declaration On Internet Rights And Freedoms

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Infojustice.org writes: Last week, 23 civil society groups released the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms at the Internet Governance Forum, infojustice.org reports. The declaration is organized around twelve key principles, including Freedom of Expression and the Right to Information and Open Data.

Collective Rights Management Takes Root In Uganda

With an increase in the number of entrepreneur artisans in Uganda, a need to protect and benefit from the artisan works has emerged in the country. There is a growing trend in rights management, especially in the fields of musical works, film and art.