Industry’s demands and political pressures exerted by developed countries to expand and strengthen patent protection worldwide have been based on the argument that patents promote innovation and thereby contribute to achieve social, political and economic well-being, independently of the level of development of the country where they are granted and enforced.
In rural Zambia and Malawi, new mums face long delays finding out if they have passed HIV on to their babies.
International experts working in the creative sector are calling for governments to recognise the integral role that culture plays in development and to ensure that culture is a part of the post-2015 United Nations development goals, to be discussed next year.
The steady increase in patent applications and grants that is taking place in developed and some developing countries (notably in China) is sometimes hailed as evidence of the strength of global innovation and of the role of the patent system in encouraging it.
Ulziikhutag Jigjid, 49, is a member of a 10-person group in the Khan-Uul district on the outskirts of Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar, which is producing brooms, chairs, containers, and other handmade products from discarded soda and juice containers.
For 22-year-old Moselyn Muchena, a final year computer science student at the University of Zimbabwe, it seemed obvious to create a mobile application offering easy access to services in the local catering industry, largely because of the huge number of female entrepreneurs in that sector.
"There are several robots in the world, but that one which regulates traffic is made in Congo," Thérèse Izayi, a female engineer and the Congolese inventor of two very unusual traffic signals, tells IPS.
It is time to move the global policy debate beyond the binary options of “austerity” versus “stimulus.” Both these macroeconomic policies have caused untold harm to millions and produced dangerous policy stalemates in Europe and the U.S., Japan and other countries.
The first surprise on arriving at Abel Manto's farm is how green it is, in contrast with the dry brown surroundings. His beans and fruit trees seem oblivious to the persistent drought in the semi-arid hinterland of northeast Brazil, the worst in 50 years.
Innovation, as the fruit of science and technology, will play a fundamental role in the Sustainable Development Goals that could go into effect in 2015, says Néstor Osorio, president of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Afnan Hamad stands proudly in front of a booth at the Ramallah Cultural Palace exhibition hall, three plastic bottles filled with discoloured liquid on the table in front of her.