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Serge Raemaekers Calls for All-encompassing Action to Protect South Africa from Illegal Fishing

Sharing Benefits from the CoastSerge Raemaekers, contributor to Sharing Benefits from the Coast: Rights, Resource and Livelihoods edited by Rachel Wynberg and Maria Hauck, was quoted in an article by Trust Matsilele for CNBC Africa about the cost of illegal fishing in South Africa.

Abalone and lobster are the greatest targets for unregulated fishing in South Africa, because they are in high demand overseas. Raemaekers estimates that 3 000 tonnes of fish is poached every year, so the risk of depletion is very serious and needs urgently to be addressed.

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Serge Raemaekers, a University of Cape Town academic and researcher said the startling figures required an all-encompassing action from civil society, communities and government to address the challenge of poaching in the country’s marine economy.

Book details

  • Sharing Benefits from the Coast: Rights, Resource and Livelihoods edited by Rachel Wynberg and Maria Hauck
    EAN: 9781775820062
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Video: Jonathan Crush Explains the Hungry Cities Partnership Concept and Addresses Food Insecurity

Africa's Urban RevolutionJonathan Crush, one of the contributors to Africa’s Urban Revolution, addressed the 2014 International Metropolis Conference in Milan about food insecurity in the rapidly-growing cities in the Global South.

The African Food Security Network wrote about the Hungry Cities Partnership, which Crush heads up.

Read the article:

The food is there, the problem is access, influenced by high rates of unemployment that leave people unable to purchase sufficient food of adequate quality…

Crush spoke to Fondazione ISMU while he was at the conference in Milan, discussing his work and the project.

Watch the video:

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Zanele Muholi Shortlisted for the 2015 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

Jacketed WomenZanele Muholi, the photographer for Jacketed Women: Qualitative research methodologies on sexualities and gender in Africa, has been short-listed for the 2015 Deutsche Börse photography prize.

Sean O’Hagan wrote an article for The Guardian about the shortlisted photographers. He says that Muholi’s photobook, Faces and Phrases, is an arresting piece of visual activism.

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Zanele Muholi, a self-styled “visual activist”, is nominated for her photobook Faces and Phrases, in which black-and-white portraits of South Africa’s LGBT community are accompanied by searingly honest first-person accounts of discrimination and violence.

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The Courage of ||kabbo Author Janette Deacon Features in SKA International Exhibition

The Courage of ||kabboThe Courage of ||kabbo: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Specimens of Bushman Folklore, edited by Janette Deacon and Pippa Skotnes, is an anthology of articles by a range of experts from a wide array of disciplines, commenting on the past and present treatment of Bushmen and the attempts to keep their culture alive.

Deacon’s work has been included in an international project led by Square Kilometre Array (SKA) called Shared Skies, which unites under one sky “Aboriginal Australian and South African artists in a collaborative exhibition celebrating humanity’s ancient cultural wisdom”.

Deacon’s contribution to the project exhibits her knowledge of the |xam and their bond with the landscape. Read an excerpt from Deacon’s writing for SKA Writing Project:

The Square Kilometre Array was part of a wider territory that for thousands of years was occupied by three groups of indigenous San hunter-gatherers who spoke |xam, a language that has not been in regular use for a century or more. These groups called themselves the Grass, Flat and Berg (Mountain) Bushmen. Fortunately, the memories and folklore of five men and one woman were written down in |xam and translated into English by Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd in Cape Town in the 1870s. They provide the basis for our knowledge of the way in which the landscape was used by the |xam and their ancestors over many generations.

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Excerpt: Read the First Chapter of Innovation and Intellectual Property

Innovation and Intellectual PropertyRead the first chapter of Innovation and Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa edited by Jeremy de Beer, Chris Armstrong, Chidi Oguamanam and Tobias Schonwetter.

Innovation and Intellectual Property presents case studies of innovators in nine different African countries, looking at different means of protecting intellectual property.

Read the excerpt:

Chapter 1

Innovation, Intellectual Property and Development Narratives in Africa

Jeremy de Beer, Chidi Oguamanam and Tobias Schonwetter

1.  Context

Human development, including not just economic growth but also the capability for longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives, depends on innovation and creativity. While various economic, technological, social and other factors influence innovative and creative activity, intellectual property (IP) rights – copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and other appropriation mechanisms – play an increasingly important role. How IP rights help or hinder innovation and creativity in different contexts in Africa is the subject of this book.

The chapters that follow canvass aspects of the current reality of IP in nine different countries from the four main regions of the African continent. The chapters contain contextual analyses as well as on-the-ground case studies based on empirical, qualitative and quantitative research – and cut across diverse socio-economic contexts and legal systems, and a spectrum of formal, informal and traditional sectors. Examined as a whole, the evidence in this book helps build understanding of the ways in which the dual goals of protecting IP and preserving access to knowledge can be balanced. The book also provides indications of the roles that are being, and can be, played by collaborative and openness-oriented dynamics in relation to innovation, creativity and IP. A better understanding of the nuances and dynamics of IP is essential to creating policy frameworks and management practices that balance IP protection and access in such a way that African regions, nations and communities can harness IP as a tool to facilitate collaborative networking within diverse systems of innovation and creativity.

The proliferation and polarisation of opinion

Influential actors – multinational companies, developed-country governments, international organisations, academics, civil society groups – promote opposing views on how IP protection interacts with innovation and creativity. One view is that IP protection is inevitably and necessarily an incentive for innovation and creativity. The opposing view is that IP protection is not required to facilitate innovation and creativity and, rather, is an impediment to the free and open exchanges of technology, culture and knowledge that form the core of innovative and creative modalities. These polarised views persist because, in fact, little is really known about how IP environments do or could influence innovation and creativity as a means to development. A recent, wide-ranging review (Hassan et al., 2010) of the growing but still “surprisingly scarce” literature on IP and developing countries uncovered little consensus and even less clear evidence on the key questions facing IP policy-makers (2010, p. xiv). It follows that policy-makers who seek to encourage creators and innovators tend to struggle to develop appropriate IP systems. Bottlenecks and systemic inefficiencies occur as law-makers and policy-makers make hazy efforts, based on insufficient information, to calibrate national IP environments in support of innovation and creativity.

Overzealous IP protection regimes may indeed raise the costs of future innovations and may, therefore, discourage potential innovators and creators who cannot afford high up-front investments. Also, over-protection of IP may result in innovators and creators being unable to organise collaborative relationships in strategically optimal ways. On the other hand, under-protection of outputs may indeed be an investment disincentive for a significant proportion of potential innovators and creators, and may therefore be a threat to development.
Despite the lack of consensus about the influence of IP on innovation and creativity for development, some new narratives seem to be emerging. For most of the 20th century, the orthodox assumption was that IP protection is good for development. The wisdom was that if some protection is good, more is even better. The origins and spread of such narratives are explained especially clearly in the literature on the history of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and in the leading work on the international political economy of IP more generally (e.g. Drahos and Braithwaite, 2002; May, 2010; May and Sell, 2005; Sell, 2003).

From the 1994 passage of TRIPS onwards, political and economic pressures to increase IP protection succeeded in raising both IP protection standards and awareness of IP in developing countries. But the protectionist pressures led to backlashes against IP systems that were seen as insensitive to local contexts. This was especially true where IP protection impacted other public policy priorities, especially on matters of health, education and cultural participation. The work of scholars such as Barbosa et al. (2007), Boyle (1997, 2003, 2004), Chon (2006), Okediji (1996, 2000) and others was influential in that context. Such scholarship contributed indirectly to reform initiatives undertaken by international organisations including the WTO, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). A “development agenda”, or indeed a suite of related agendas, emerged as a new paradigm focused on recalibrating international IP law and policy (De Beer, 2009; Deere, 2009; Gervais, 2007; May, 2007; Meléndez-Ortiz and Roffe, 2009; Netanel, 2008; Yu, 2009). Moreover, an ad hoc movement of civil society advocates and scholarly researchers came together under the framework of “A2K” (access to knowledge), a civil society coalescence which fundamentally reframed the terms of global IP debates (De Beer and Bannerman, 2013; Kapczynski, 2008; Kapczynski and Krikorian, 2010). An illustration (as this book was being finalised in mid-2013) of the continuing momentum of the A2K movement was the outcome of the WIPO Diplomatic Conference of June 2013 in Marrakesh, at which more than 50 countries signed the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (Marrakesh Treaty, 2013).

A number of important recent works demonstrate the integration of development principles and A2K perspectives into mainstream analyses of IP (e.g. Wong and Dutfield, 2011). Several scholars emphasise the complex, dynamic and multi-level nature not just of IP rules, but also of the broader governance of knowledge (e.g. Burlamaqui et al., 2012; Chon, 2011; Oguamanam, 2011). The complexity of the scholarly endeavour has led to contrasting disciplinary perspectives and subtly different framings of IP issues. For example, some works characterise the basic problem as protecting “poor people’s knowledge” (Finger and Schuler, 2004); others promote the recognition of “indigenous people’s innovation” (Drahos and Frankel, 2012). A particularly important theme is the human impact of IP policy, i.e. the impact on individual fulfillment and well-being (Sunder, 2012).

Despite this rapidly growing global body of work, there is still little research examining systemic IP governance or knowledge governance in Africa. More than two decades ago, Juma and Ojwang (1989) urged African countries to examine their IP policies and “introduce laws that reflect the imperatives of national sovereignty” (1989, p. 3). Since then, there have been valuable in-depth examinations of particular issues, such as textiles and traditional knowledge (Boateng, 2011), or access to learning materials (Armstrong et al., 2010; De Beer, 2013). In addition, some researchers have conducted regional analyses of A2K – in North Africa, for example (Shaver and Rizk, 2010) – and sub-Saharan African perspectives on IP and economic development have been put forward (e.g. Blackeney and Megistie, 2011), along with analyses of topics such as neo-colonialism and IP (e.g. Rahmatian, 2009) and African IP organisations (Kongolo, 2000). Africanbased researchers Pistorius, Harms and Visser have done strong work on the intersections among development and aspects of IP such as copyright (Pistorius, 2007) and international legal and political IP paradigms (Harms, 2012; Visser, 2007). But many gaps in our understanding of IP and development, especially development in African settings, remain.

Particular blind spots relate to the dynamic and contextual roles of IP in different kinds of African innovation and creation modalities, particularly collaborative and openness-oriented modalities. The researchers who contributed to this book responded to an open public call to investigate matters that would help answer the following question: How can existing or potential IP systems be harnessed to appropriately value and facilitate innovation and creativity for open development in Africa? This framing provoked a range of connected questions. Practically, how do African innovators or creators exploit, adapt to, or work around, IP environments? Conceptually, are exclusive IP rights compatible with collaborative, openness-oriented innovation and creativity in Africa, and with inclusive development more generally? What are the on-the-ground interplays between openness and protection in relation to IP in African innovative and creative settings? At a more systemic level, to what extent, and how, have policy-makers in Africa attempted to calibrate IP frameworks in such a way that they can maximise innovative and creative potential? Current research addressing these important questions, as presented in the available literature and translated into practice, remains scarce and often appears to reflect rhetorical polarisation more than objective investigation. This volume seeks to begin to fill that research gap, by presenting findings from studies which explored the role of IP in innovation and creativity within collaboration- and openness-based conceptions of development in the African context. In other words, the book is not about innovation systems or creative industries in general; it is about the roles that IP rights do, and could, play within such systems and industries, specifically in Africa, specifically in relation to collaborative, openness-oriented dynamics.

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Finding the Answer at the Bottom of a Glass: Drinking Practices as a Socio-Economic Indicator in South Africa

Africa's Urban RevolutionSusan Parnell, one of the editors of Africa’s Urban Revolution, has co-authored an article for the South African Geographical Journal titled “Alcohol, poverty and the South African city”.

In the article, Parnell and Clare Herrick look at alcohol regulation and drinking practices as a means to gain a perspective on South African cities and development.

Alcohol is linked to many chronic and infectious diseases and compounds with socioeconomic inequality. Nevertheless, it is also a source of income for many individuals and an important contributor to the national economy. This makes it a interesting point of entry to this country’s cultural context.

Read the abstract:

In the past decade, a sense of urgency has started to pervade alcohol regulation in South Africa. The burden of alcohol-related mortality and morbidity is among the highest in the world, and its effects are made worse by persistent socio-economic and structural inequalities. Moreover, alcohol is also a principle risk factor for infectious and chronic diseases, as well as a tenacious barrier to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Its consumption and negative externalities have therefore become a public health and development crisis. This is despite alcohol’s significant contribution to the South African national economy and individual livelihoods signalling an entrenched site of tension in alcohol regulation. However, while liquor has indubitably pernicious consequences, it does also provide a critical vantage point to further geographical engagements with the South African city and contemporary development debates. In so doing, the novel empirical and conceptual agendas set out in the papers also contribute to a broader engagement with the cultural contexts, meanings and settings of drinking practices in rapidly changing urban spaces of the Global South.

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Sa’diyya Shaikh’s to Deliver Keynote Address on Gender and Islam at the Pennsylvania State University

Sufi Narratives of Intimacy: Ibn ‘Arabi, Gender, and SexualitySa’diyya Shaikh, the author of Sufi Narratives of Intimacy: Ibn ‘Arabi, Gender, and Sexuality, will be giving the keynote address at the Theorizing Gender and Islam Conference at the Pennsylvania State University.

The lecture will be at the Alumni Lounge at the Nittany Lion Inn at Tuesday, 2 December, at 7 PM.

Read more about the conference:

The conference on “Theorizing Gender and Islam” aims to advance feminist theory and methodology about Muslim women’s and men’s experiences, subjectivities and narratives, and to develop a research community between feminist scholars, Religious Studies scholars, Islamic feminists and those from cognate areas. The conference seeks to bring together critical scholars from Women’s Studies, Religious Studies, Legal Studies, Psychology, African Literature and Sociology as well as creative artists in a vivid exchange that will address a new and complex set of realities.

Catch this if you can!

Event Details

  • Date: Tuesday, 2 December 2014
  • Time: 7 PM
  • Venue: Nittany Lion Inn
    200 W Park Ave
    The Pennsylvania State University
    Pennsylvania
    United States | Map
  • RSVP: gxb26@psu.edu

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The Launch of The Courage of ||kabbo Celebrates the Incredible Intellectual Tradition of the |xam People

Pippa Skotnes and Janette Deacon

 
The launch of The Courage of ||kabboThe Courage of ||kabboThe launch of The Courage of ||kabbo: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Specimens of Bushman Folklore was held at The Book Lounge in Cape Town recently.

The collection of essays celebrates Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd’s Specimens of Bushman Folklore, a record of the language and poetry of the |xam. The spirit of celebration was certainly present at the launch, as contributors, interested individuals, and friends and family filled the venue.

Pippa Skotnes and Janette Deacon began by asking each other questions about their respective work on the Bleek and Lloyd archives and their exploration of |xam culture by other means. They have both spent decades on the research, and have many interesting stories to tell.

The Bleek and LLoyd archive consists of the genealogies and stories the two collected, as well as their personal library. Skotnes said that working in it is like taking the host at a eucharist: time disappears and you are flung back into the lives of these people. Deacon agreed with this, but she did not satisfy herself with paper records of the |xam people; she wanted to visit their heartland. Finding the places ||kabbo and his contemporaries lived was not an easy task. Finding relics of the now-extinct language group required much squinting at Bleek and Lloyd maps and modern 1:50 000 maps, a number of trips down bumpy farm roads, and more than a few kind locals.

San people are frequently romantically presented as the history-less predecessors of all other Southern African inhabitants. But the Bleek and LLoyd archives demonstrate that the culture of the |xam is the site of profound intellectual tradition. Skotnes said that she discovered that the |xam worldview was rich and nuanced. Deacon concurred, adding that making the existence of |xam culture known has sparked pride among people of San descent, and interest among researchers. Skotnes was part of a team that digitised the entire Bleek and Lloyd archive, so the knowledge of the |xam people free and available to all. It can be accessed from The Digital Bleek and Lloyd.

There was lively interaction when the audience was invited to ask Skotnes and Deacon questions. A number of contributors told stories about their fascinating research on San language and culture. As one of then said, “This is a wonderful book with a wealth of information. Everyone should buy one.”

*****

Erin Devenish (@ErinDevenish811) tweeted from the event using #livebooks:


 

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Book details

  • The Courage of ||kabbo: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Specimens of Bushman Folklore edited by Janette Deacon and Pippa Skotnes
    EAN: 9781919895468
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Africa’s Urban Revolution Authors Warn that Analysis is Needed on Africa’s Rapidly Growing Cities

Africa's Urban RevolutionSusan Parnell and Edgar Pieterse, co-authors of Africa’s Urban Revolution, say that the main reason they decided to write the book was because policymakers and political leaders in Africa are not engaging with the issues raised by rapid urbanisation on the continent.

Africa has the second-highest number of city dwellers, after Asia, and the growth of its cities is happening at an unprecedented rate. However, analysis and understanding of the problems and challenges raised by urbanisation is thin on the ground.

Pieterse says transport, climate change and food security need to be analysed in more depth. “The book offers some perspective as to where the debates and research are at in this all-important and rapidly developing field,” the Daily Maverick reports him as saying. “This is not the end of the story – it is very much the beginning.”

As Parnell and Pieterse put it in Africa’s Urban Revolution, “[I]increasing levels of urbanisation are probably inevitable and must be confronted”. There is no escaping the reality of Africa’s rapidly growing cities, or the fact that development is not always occurring at the same rate. To prevent gross inequalities from being perpetuated, it is critical to have scholars, practitioners and the public working together to re-imagine the construction – and ongoing development – of Africa’s cities. DM

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SABMiller’s Corporate Performance Foretold in Anne Kelk Mager’s Beer, Sociability and Masculinity in South Africa

Beer, Sociability and Masculinity in South AfricaSABMiller’s first-quarter revenue growth this year was six percent, beating an analyst forecast for the end of the financial year, March 2015.

In Beer, Sociability and Masculinity in South Africa, Anne Kelk Mager takes a sobering look at the culture of drinking in South Africa, and its commercial, social, and political history.

Kelk Mager looks at the corporate culture of then-South African Breweries (SAB), the world’s most successful brewing company, showing how a dominant brewer compelled the South African market “to comply with legislation that divided customers along racial lines, but also promoted images of multiracial social drinking in the final years of apartheid”.

Since the transition to majority rule, SAB has rapidly expanded into new markets – including the United States with the purchase of Miller Brewing Company. This title affords a unique view into global manufacturing, monopolies, politics and public culture, race relations, and cold beer.

A recent Business Day report highlights the effects of SABMiller’s expansion into new markets:

The company’s most profitable market, Latin America, was negatively affected by once-off events in Colombia.

SABMiller said sales in the country were weighed down by a “selective price increase”, as well as by dry laws for two rounds of presidential elections and in key cities during Colombia’s World Cup football matches.

However, strong volume gains in the soft drinks division and better pricing helped Latin America report 5% sales growth.

Regarding Australia, where SABMiller said a 6% decline in revenue was due to competitive pricing pressure and negative consumer sentiment, Mr van Vlaanderen said “we remain cautious on the outlook in this market”.

“With such a diversified geographic footprint there will always be winners and losers within the SABMiller stable, but overall we find the first-quarter results underwhelming despite the better than expected 6% group revenue growth number,” he said.

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