This event is endorsed
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EAI International Conference on Technology, R&D, Education and Economy for Africa

March 21–22, 2018 | Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Walter G. Park

Professor of Economics and PhD Program Director, Department of Economics, American University, Washington DC, USA



Walter G. Park is a Professor of Economics at American University, Washington, D.C.  He holds a B.A. degree from the University of Toronto, M.Phil from Oxford University, and Ph.D from Yale University.  His main fields of research are intellectual property rights and research and development (R&D), with a focus on international issues, such as trade and foreign direct investment.  His publications appear in Economic Inquiry, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of International Business Studies, Research Policy, Review of World Economics, World Economy, World Patent Information, and in book chapters published by Academic Press, Elsevier Science, and Springer Verlag, among others.  He has developed indicators of intellectual property protection, which are widely cited and used by other researchers.


He currently serves on the Advisory Editorial Board of Research Policy and is a special sworn employee at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Since 2004, he has been working with the Controlling Office of the European Patent Office on developing forecasting models of international patenting.  Since 2012, he has been a contributor to the Commitment to Development Index produced by the Center for Global Development.  He has also been a consultant to Industry Canada, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, U.S. Department of Energy, World Bank, and World Intellectual Property Organization. 


He has taught for more than twenty years and has taught a wide range of courses:  Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade, International Finance, Industrial Economics, and Econometrics, and at all levels – bachelors, masters, and doctoral.  He has also taught an online course in Development Economics for a certificate master’s program, and co-taught an intensive course on IPRs and economic development for young professionals at the Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, as part of the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN).



This presentation will provide a refresher on the international economics of intellectual property rights (IPR).  What are the main channels by which IPR affects international economic development?  How have the gains from IPR reform been distributed globally?  How does West Africa fare?  What are the further reforms and policies needed to share the benefits and burdens of IPR more effectively across North and South divides?  The presentation will stress the roles of both manufacturing and information industries in innovation, creativity, and technology transfer.


Prof. Mammo Muchie


Professor Mammo Muchie did his undergraduate degree in Columbia University, New York, USA and his postgraduate MPhil and DPhil in Science, Technology, and Innovation for Development (STI&D) from the University of Sussex, UK. He is currently a DST-NRF research chair in Innovation Studies at the Faculty of Management Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology and a rated research Professor. He is a fellow of the South African Academy of Sciences, the African Academy of Sciences and the African Science Institute. He is also currently adjunct Professor at the Adama Science, Technology University, Arsi University, Addis Ababa University and University of Gondar, Ethiopia. He is a faculty associate professor at SPRU and Senior Research Associate at the TMD Centre of Oxford University. He was part of the founding members of the Globelics initiative and participates as board member and actively contributes to the Globelics Doctoral Academy.  He is the founder as Chief Editor of the African Journal on Science, Technology, Innovation and Development that has been running since 2009 ( He is also editor of the Globelics Journal of Innovation and Development ( He helped also in the founding of AfricaLics ( He is part of the founding scientific board members of the network that connects North Africa, with the Middle East and southern Europe ( and Indialics. He is  scientific advisor of the Africa Innovation Summit. Perhaps one of the most significant contributions to promote the emerging field on innovation studies in Africa was the South African research Chairs Initiative (SARChI). The first chair on innovation studies supported by the DST/NRF in South Africa was awarded to Prof. Muchie to promote doctoral and post-doctoral research in Africa. He is chairman of the Network of Ethiopian scholars ( and is chief editor of the open access electronic journal The Ethiopian Electronic Journal for Research & Innovation Foresight (Ee-JRIF) ( He was a co- founder of The GKEN-Global Knowledge Exchange Network, the African Unity for Renaissance, the African Talent hub and the African Union Youth for Change (AUY4C).  He is also editor of the Journal of Agriculture and Economic Development, Associate Editor of the Journal of Economics and Institutions, University of Malaysia, Journal of Social Epistemology, and many others. He is also an editorial member of the Thinker Magazine and he is also the chief editor of a new TUT Journal of Creativity, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (JCISE). .Professor Muchie has widely published in the areas of international political economy, development economics of innovation and the making of African systems of innovation and new technologies and development. Since 1985, he has produced over 400 publications, including books, chapters in books, and articles in internationally accredited journals and entries in institutional publications.  He has done community service through the media: Television, Morning Live, Radios and articles in newspapers regularly in South Africa and internationally.

Title:  R & D Application to Apply Traditional Knowledge for African Integrated and Sustainable Development


The traditional knowledge resources that emerged from ancient societies like Africa’s ancient Khmet, Egypt, Ethiopia, Persia and China   have combined often philosophies, values, ethics and wisdom that have passed the test of time. These knowledge approaches that imbed culture, values, ethics, principles, caring, sharing, nostalgia, emotion and all other variables that enrich the quality of being and the ontological density of life have been rendered shallow by the intellectual dominance of a very instrumental, positivist, externalising and separating knowledge production approach where the observer and the observed are seen to occupy different positions in the knowledge creation processes. The observer is external to the observed and what is observed is often recognised to be free from the thoughts, recognition and interrelatedness of the observed matter or reality of observation. This type of knowledge production displaced the rich knowledge process with ways of knowing that included revelation, ethics, ontology, epistemology and axiology that defy one plus one is two. The traditional knowledge shared  logic that is not linear or instrumental expressing knowledge with a  kind of epistemic virtue that opposed epistemic vice, adding often to knowledge production deontological, consequential and virtue ethics  opening the space for  deeper knowledge content that  can be  read as inclusive and even innovative.

It is not just the  overwhelming prevalence of the instrumental and positivist knowledge approach that has dominated the knowledge universe, but it has also imposed a one way traffic of knowledge transfer  by arrogating an epistemic privilege  to this  form of knowledge that prioritise instrumental routines, procedures and technical processes above substantive meaning that includes how and why knowledge is relevant to enrich the quality and  ontological and epistemic being of life as it is  now and as it is going to make the future that  removes all the key problems with values and wisdom embodied in knowledge  to remove  all the varied  forms that retain conflicts and wars in human life by removing the militaristic logic with  Ubuntu  logic.

 There is much indigenous/traditional knowledge that exists in Africa.  Most of the African people live in rural areas where they use traditional medicine. There is a need to excavate this rich traditional knowledge and integrate it with modern science, technology, and engineering and innovation knowledge. Currently, there is a huge gap between R & D driven science and technology knowledge and tradition driven indigenous knowledge. There is a need to integrate these two knowledge worlds. The traditional knowledge has to benefit from R & D and intellectual property rights protection just like the modern science and technology and innovation based knowledge. It must be included systematically in the education curriculum and system. Those that promote R & D driven science and technology knowledge have to also appreciate and value the rich traditional knowledge to open the possibilities for the direct application of traditional knowledge resources in promoting African integrated and sustainable development.


The keynote will address this gap that currently exists by finding practical methods to include traditional knowledge by applying R & D and intellectual property protection with modern science and technology knowledge to enrich and diversify the knowledge economy at a time when the world is in the 4th industrial revolution.  If we find novel ways of applying R & D to traditional knowledge from Africa’s rich agriculture, medicine, water, arable land, raw materials and minerals, the opportunity to find a high speed highway to be part of the 4th industrial Revolutions’ knowledge and digital   society may transpire and Africa can enter into the knowledge with its own synthesis of both traditional and modern knowledge.