Egypt's Role in the A2K Movement: An Analysis of Positions and Policies
Access to Knowledge in Egypt: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development, Lea Shaver and Nagla Rizk, eds, Bloomsbury 2010
41 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2010
Egypt is one of the key developing countries which have contributed to the emergence of the access to knowledge (A2K) movement. The Egyptian role has been instrumental in A2K discussions, particularly in the context of the Development Agenda of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a landmark initiative launched in 2004 by a group of fourteen developing countries, including Egypt. Egypt’s role, in this regard, reflects its wider role in the setting of the international agenda on many global issues as well as its engagement in favor of a more development-oriented global trade and intellectual property (IP) architecture. This chapter aims to examine Egypt’s role in a number of international fora and processes, which have played a significant role in the development of the A2K movement.
The first section looks at the global knowledge architecture as it impacts developing countries, providing a background to the emergence of the A2K movement and an overview of the most salient developments in this regard. The second examines Egypt’s participation in international deliberations on A2K issues in a number of international organizations and fora such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), as well as WIPO. The third section considers how Egypt has strived to achieve a balanced implementation of its international obligations in the areas of trade and IP, taking into consideration the possible impact of the recent free trade agreements (FTAs) it has concluded on A2K priorities. The final section examines A2K at the domestic level in Egypt, including the domestic policy- making structure on A2K issues, which involves a number of government ministries and agencies as well as civil society organizations. It is suggested that Egypt’s government should explicitly adopt A2K as a public policy objective. Such a move will boost A2K efforts at the domestic level as well as provide enhanced momentum for the country’s involvement in the A2K movement at the international level.
Keywords: innovation, intellectual property,development, copyright, patents, patent law, ICT, medicines, right to health, access, knowledge, Egypt, WIPO, WTO, law, policy, IP, TRIPS, WIPO Development Agenda, TRIPS-plus, FTAs, WSIS
JEL Classification: A00, F02, F13, I18, I30, K00, K21, K33, L86, O00, O32, O34
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