December 19

Harnessing African intellectual property

first_img9 June 2008A key report launched at the World Economic Forum on Africa last week shows that effective IP (intellectual property) strategies can raise African producers’ incomes by up to 320%, compared with traditional aid models, which raise incomes by only about 1.6% a year.Called “Distinctive values in African Exports: How intellectual property can raise export income and alleviate poverty“, it was produced by an organisation called Light Years and funded by the Department for International Development in the United Kingdom.“In sub-Saharan Africa, something quite new is happening with intellectual property,” the report states, adding that intellectual property is increasingly being used in business strategies to boost the export incomes of large numbers of African producers.Light Years IP studied 14 product sectors, had found that these sectors have the potential to increase export income from US$1.1-billion per year, to between $2.5-billion and $3.5-billion per year.If applied properly to sub-Saharan exports, which earn an estimated $9-billion per year, these strategies would increase the export income in this region to between $20-billion and $27-billion per year.Intangible valueThe report notes the dramatic increase in the intangible value of products over recent decades, finding that this has now overtaken the physical value of products as the main source of corporate income.Now, with the value of intangible assets at the top end of the value chain, intellectual property strategies are more important than ever.The report states that Africa could develop business strategies with IP built-in when exporting to developed country markets where value is dominated by IP, arguing that at the moment, “valuable returns from IP are being captured in the importing country and not in the African country of origin”.Up to now, the authors argue, strategies for export development in Africa have relied too heavily on increasing the production of commodities and establishing new processing or manufacturing plants.This has put African countries in “intense competition” with other developing countries that are also increasing production and manufacturing.The report outlined a number of areas where African countries could receive more of the value from their products. For instance, Ethiopian coffee, it says, is recognised as being among the best in the world.“However, the significantly high retail prices for these coffees were being enjoyed by foreign coffee distributors and retailers, while the producers were compensated at very low levels – around five percent to 10% of the retail price.”Kuapa KokooIn one sign of success, the report pointed to a successful IP-based business strategy initiated by cocoa farmers in Ghana.A cooperative set up called Kuapa Kokoo – which in turn helped to establish the Fairtrade chocolate marketing company Divine Chocolate Ltd – now brands its product, which is becoming well known in developed country markets and allowing the producers to receive a major share in the brand and a significant share in the profits.When it came to modern technology, the opportunity for trading on more equal terms was now better for Africa, says Light Years IP chief executive officer Ron Layton.“Transmission of digital products has dramatically levelled the playing field for Africa, a change unprecedented in world trade.”More than 800 participants from around 50 countries engaged with each other in the 18th World Economic Forum on Africa, which ended last Friday.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

December 18

Why Traditional Methods Still Matter

first_imgTo continue reading, please click here. But when recruiters rely so heavily on technology, is something lost in the mix? HR pros are well aware of the candidate concerns about online application systems that are cumbersome and their own worries over qualified applicants whose resume may get tossed if it doesn’t contain the right keywords. Are we depending on technology too much in the recruitment process? As goes the push and pull between traditional and digital communication, in general, when it comes to adopting best practices in recruitment, it’s not an either/or dichotomy—it’s creating the right combination of both that yields efficiencies and appropriately engages and builds relationships with high-quality prospects. Then Monster.com emerged, disrupting the traditional classified advertising approach to recruitment and introducing HR pros to the world of online recruitment. LinkedIn wasn’t far behind and, along the way, various automated platforms emerged to allow organizations to readily connect with candidates around the globe through online channels that quickly grew to include other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and even Pinterest and Instagram. High-Tech Doesn’t Replace High-Touch in Recruiting: Why Traditional Methods Still MatterMany years ago, recruitment was a very manual process. Companies spent most of their recruitment budgets on placing classified or display ads in local print newspapers or industry trade publications, attending career fairs, and working their personal networks.last_img read more