Title page for ETD etd-07222008-123004

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Monngakgotla, Oabona Clifford
Email jama662001@yahoo.com
URN etd-07222008-123004
Document Title Policy makers’ knowledge and practices of intellectual property rights on indigenous knowledge systems in Botswana
Degree MEd (Science and Technology Education)
Department Curriculum Studies
Advisor Name Title
Dr L Jita Supervisor
  • policy implementation
  • prior knowledge
  • indigenous knowledge systems
  • coordination
  • domain knowledge
  • cognitive process
  • intellectual property rights
Date 2008-04-15
Availability unrestricted
In the wake of diversifying economy through science and technology, the government of Botswana is particularly inclined to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). IPR in its nature of advocating exclusive rights by the creator comes into direct conflict with the practice and understanding of IKS as community property, and a shared resource. To date, there is very little research work that explores policymakers’ knowledge about IPR and IKS in developing countries. Botswana, a developing country is yet to benefit from this type of research.

This research investigated policymakers’ knowledge and practices of IPR on IKS in Botswana. The focus was on policymakers’ knowledge and practices, interaction with policy, and how their actions could be understood and explained. The study was conducted in four government departments, and one non-governmental organisation. Semi-structured interviews and document analysis were used to collect data. The findings of the study show that there is general lack of understanding about IPR in the public domain. Policymakers nonetheless know quite substantially about IPR and very little about IKS. This position puts indigenous knowledge on the periphery, and on the brink of being swallowed by other technologies.

Moreover, the study uncovered evidence that the IPR and IKS activities are fragmented and policymakers treat each other with a great deal of suspicion and misunderstanding, hence affecting successful implementation of policy and projects particularly between two units in the study- the ministry of Communication, Science and Technology and the ministry of Trade and Industry.

The study concludes by arguing that policymakers still require a great deal of assistance to really make sense of their practice. A lot of teaching and learning about policy is necessary to encourage broader participation in science policymaking in the context of a developing country like Botswana.

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