Author Profile – Prof Caroline Ncube


Prof Caroline NcubeScience, Technology & Innovation and Intellectual Property: Leveraging Openness for Sustainable Development in Africa considers how openness could empower Africa to leverage science, technology & innovation (STI) and intellectual property (IP) legislative and policy frameworks to support sustainable development. Specifically, it draws attention to how the alignment of national policies with continental priorities and global aspirations will further Africa’s development. In this Juta authors profile, we asked Prof Caroline Ncube more about the message in her book, the impact she hopes it will have and her inspirations for writing.

Could you tell us more about your book and your intentions for wanting to write it?
The book is on the linkage between science, technology & innovation (STI), Intellectual Property (IP) and their relevance to sustainable development in Africa. I wanted to write it because South Africa and the rest of the African continent are grappling with how to propel development through STI. IP is a key component of that, so this book explores that linkage.

What kind of impact do you hope your book will have?
I hope it will be read broadly by readers across Africa, including researchers and policy makers at all levels. I know that it has reached many countries already and is in the libraries of universities, regional IP organisations, regional economic communities and even departments of the African Union (AU) and other intergovernmental organisations working on these issues in Africa. The AU is scheduled to conclude negotiations on the IP Protocol of the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) so IP, STI and development are very high on the agenda of all AU member states.

Tell us about your writing experience. What did you find most challenging when you wrote the book?
Writing was both stressful and cathartic. The stress was due to the prevailing uncertainty and worry due to the toll the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on all of us. Interestingly, writing was cathartic and served as one of the few things I could control in a world where everything else was, and still is, unpredictable.

Why is this subject matter important to you?
The fortunes of the African continent and her people have always been dear to me. My scholarship is always intended to contribute to solving the developmental priorities and challenges of our times.

As a writer, where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration in anything that may contribute to solving developmental challenges and using the IP system as a means to achieving that.

What kind of books would you like to see more of from up and coming South African voices?
Books that engage with contemporary challenges in a way that does not merely replicate what is done elsewhere, without proper scrutiny of how that may be relevant to the national context.

At this point in history, what do you feel is important social dialogue for Africa?
I believe that it is seeking local solutions for global problems.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write about the things that matter to you. Write about the things that keep you up at night.

What books are you reading right now?
I am reading a volume edited by Ellah Allfrey called Africa 39: new writing from Africa south of the Sahara.

Name the one book you believe everyone should read at least once in their lives:
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

To purchase a copy of Science, Technology & Innovation and Intellectual Property: Leveraging Openness for Sustainable Development in Africa, click here.





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