Footprints by McLean Sibanda

‘Intellectual property is everywhere around us and impacts our lives. For entrepreneurs and businesses alike, intellectual property is about value creation – it is the insurance you need for when you succeed.’

Footprints is a captivating story about intellectual property (IP). It speaks to its role in society, trade, industry, and economy and expounds on the actual meaning of IP. The book lays a solid foundation for innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses, and nations to realise their full potential through IP policy, legislation, use and practices.

McLean Sibanda shares his personal story, together with stories and testimonies of fellow travellers, taking us through their journey into the field of IP. He meticulously recounts South Africa’s path in transforming the management of IP emanating from publicly financed research and development (R&D), development of critical human capital and other infrastructure to ensure effective IP commercialisation and technology transfer.

Footprints is a timely masterpiece given IP issues in Africa’s scramble for Covid-19 vaccines and implementation of the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The book provides strategies of how African countries can use IP and innovation to develop industries to ensure health security and trading of goods that can benefit from the AfCFTA.

Narrated through a series of significant moments, Footprints demonstrates the importance of vision, solid foundation, collaboration, champions, and intentional steps, for economic transformation. With glimpses into how countries such as China and Korea used IP to develop their economies, this book makes a compelling case for embracing IP, increased R&D investment, relevant human capital, and appropriate use of IP, in the development of new products and services necessary for knowledge-based and industrialised economies.

Footprints is a must-read for any academic, aspiring intellectual property scholar, policy maker, economist, development activist, entrepreneur, researcher, innovator, professional, and technology transfer specialist.


print edition ebook