Looking Forward: Policies, Institutional and Organizational Arrangements for AKST Development and Application | 105

are more and more present, but the technology generated in these countries comes either from multinational companies that relocate their production plants or from small national companies.

In addition, perfect compliance with trade-related intellectual propriety rights (TRIPS) does not guarantee that poor countries will have access to new top technologies. Often infrastructures are insufficient and professionally qualified personnel are lacking to make use of them. furthermore, technology patenting is not always followed by use in production, which prevents consumers from taking advantage of technological progress.

Abolished trade barriers and globally protected IPR may be antagonistic, if effective holding and use of IPR is not rightly controlled. According to the WTO report on interactions between trade exchanges and competition policy, IPR protection and competition policy are seen as complementary notions aimed to promote competition and consumer welfare. But in some cases, IPR protection might threaten competition (Drexl, 2003). To avoid such a negative outcome, we might suggest that IPR protection be placed under the control of a global competition law. But, should harmonized competition laws include a sensitive concept like IPR protection? If yes, what would be the effect of that extended law on high technologies?

At present, few CWANA countries have established IPR protection laws and hence are not likely to take advantage of accessible new technologies to strengthen their own capacity for innovation. While working toward establishing a domestic legal environment (market competition and IPR protection laws), developing countries can consider

  • Abolishing barriers, for better access to innovation

  • Supplying adequate engineering and managing skills
  • Promoting an adequate national marketing environment
  • Reducing the technology gap
  • Implementing IPR standards for dynamic competition

These suggestions are acceptable if the imported technology is relevant and if the importing country has adequate capacity, policy, regulation and institutions to optimally exploit IPR provision.

In a fair-competition environment with protected IPRs, innovation, consumer welfare and development are evident consequences. In other words, competition enhances dynamic efficiency, which through protection can give access to an exclusive right to innovation through appropriation in respect to patent law while diverting free riders and misappropriations. This gives the consumer better access to innovation and encourages information dissemination. Monopoly ownership, resulting from IPR protection, may not be harmful to innovation in given applications (scientific research, computer licenses, etc.).

However, often an optimal mix of competition policy and patenting laws is required to effectively induce a productive equilibrium between innovation and IPRs, as mentioned above, creating stronger markets.

4.2 Implications of Future Challenges for AKST-Related Institutions and Organizations

In such a rapidly growing world with tremendous challenges, CWANA has a lot to worry about while striving for


a better and sustainable future. CWANA countries share complex situations, beginning with their harsh climate and scarce resources. These factors are compounded by high population growth rates; they pass through wars and natural disasters, and end with the newly emerging issues of globalization and trade liberalization. All these factors have significant implications on the ability of CWANA countries to achieve development and sustainability goals, and more specifically to reduce hunger and poverty and improve livelihoods. Institutional arrangements and partnerships are major actors in developing and applying AKST. Their effect varies, reflecting different levels of involvement and maturity across the region.

4.2.1 Cooperation

Institutional and organizational arrangements of interest comprise regional and international conventions (Framework Convention on Climate Change, biodiversity, etc.), regional organizations (e.g., the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands—ACSAD), national institutions, local and community-based arrangements to enhance technology generation, transfer and adoption, access to new
technology and better technology management.

These arrangements affect directly (as direct drivers) the generation, access, dissemination and use of AKST in achieving development and sustainability goals. If the CWANA region is to attain development goals, member countries need to cooperate and coordinate their efforts.

CWANA countries need to coordinate and collaborate within and across the region to deliver the development objectives, especially with reference to poverty alleviation, amelioration of hunger, and socioeconomic and sustainable development. Also they need to establish networks to preserve and develop natural resources and human capital, to mitigate natural disasters such as droughts and floods, and to resolve conflict over natural resource management.

Global cooperation. Institutional arrangements within developing countries are needed to conform with and provide input into overall government reform, particularly into restructuring their economic, social and related fields. Cooperation principles should be based on an action- and resultsoriented approach and be consistent with the principles of universality, democracy, transparency, cost-effectiveness and accountability. These institutional arrangements should elaborate strategies and measures to increase national and international efforts to promote sustainable and environmentally sound development in the CWANA countries and to promote economic growth.

To be effective, these efforts need to be coordinated and implemented by private or public organizations in relation to international organizations in the form of networks to support and facilitate the transfer and adoption of technology. The involved organizations include

  • National research centers

  • Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Trade associations (chambers of commerce, associations of enterprises)
  • State and parastatal institutions for converting economic and policy approaches (ACSAD)
  • Private service providers, active NGOs