Indigenous Knowledge, South-South Exchange of New Technologies and a Warped Intellectual Property Rights System

Moses Mpuria Kindiki


In this paper I analyse the contribution of new technologies in sustainable development and poverty alleviation in the global South. My research design is desktop analysis based on a theoretical communication model of the knowledge and communication interface. I present an analysis of the possibilities that exist in South-South exchange of indigenous knowledge using the new technologies, defined as the modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), to address problems of poverty and sustainability. I also give an example of a programme in India that has successfully attempted this. In this paper I employ qualitative method of analysis. I find that there is great potential in South-South exchange of new technologies to address problems of poverty and sustainability. In the same breath, however, I contend that there are substantial challenges that the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system poses to this exchange. I conclude that the exchange is sustainable only to the extent that the South is able to push for the revision of the world trade organisation IPRs regime to avoid appropriation of one of its greatest assets, namely indigenous knowledge. In this paper I recommend that the South should be unflinching in its quest for a fair IPR system.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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