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Our Projects



Create Africa is a meeting place for inventors, innovators and creatives to create and address intellectual property (IP) issues in Kenya with the help of IP professionals and business acumen from business mentors/ investors. The project has been funded by Pfizer.Inc.

Project output: An interactive website (forum) for investors and inventors.


Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) Project

The Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) Partnership is a pan-African research project involving Strathmore University along with four other leading universities - the University of Ottawa in Canada, the University of Cape Town in South Africa, the Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, and the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Open AIR’s primary goal is to uncover new insights to ease tensions between IP and access to knowledge. Specifically, we aim to solve a problem at the heart of IP and innovation policy: how to reconcile tensions between appropriation and access, excluding and sharing, and competing and collaborating. In dealing with this problem, Open AIR’s research is showing how knowledge-based businesses can bypass outmoded, constrictive knowledge governance practices to capitalize on open collaborative innovation strategies. 
Open AIR is currently focused on three priority research themes. The first explores the nuances of innovation at high technology hubs, explaining how and why new business are likely to succeed or fail across Africa and in Canada. The second research theme, which dovetails with the first, is informal sector entrepreneurship, where resilience and innovative practices are often attributed to a shared spirit of openness and collaboration. Finally, the network is researching and collaborating with indigenous communities, which have a long history of collaborative knowledge production. In all of these areas, Open AIR is working to create new and improved intellectual property policies, performance metrics and management practices. CIPIT is the East Africa hub for Open AIR and the research lead for the high technology hubs theme.


African Scholars for Knowledge Justice (ASK Justice)

The African Scholars for Knowledge Justice (ASK Justice) Project seeks to contribute to positive policy change to increase access to medicines and access to knowledge. The project sets out to build a strong network of engaged faculty members at Southern and East African universities who through research, teaching and public voice from a human rights perspective influence current and future Intellectual Property law and policy reform processes in Africa. 
ASK Justice believes that a better understanding of the under-explored interface of Human Rights, Intellectual Property and the Public Interest will lead to positive policy change, and integrating this understanding into mainstream teaching and research will make teaching and research in this area more sustainable. The project is carried out by participating faculty from Strathmore University as well as the University of Nairobi, Makerere University, University of KwaZulu-Natal and University of Cape Town.


CIPIT has partnered with leading fellowship programs to host researchers working on Internet policy and its related topics in our Nairobi offices. We currently have active partnerships with Open Technology Fund, Google and Ford-Mozilla fellowship programs. Each fellowship program has separate application requirements and we advise prospective applicants to monitor the respective calls for application.

Open Technology Fund Information Controls Fellowship

The ICFP fellowship cultivates research, knowledge, and creative collaboration at different institutions and across disciplines on the topic of information controls. Specifically, the fellowship supports examination into how governments are restricting the free flow of information, debilitating the open Internet, and are thereby threatening human rights and democracy.

Official fellowship website:

 Google Public Policy Fellowship

The Google Public Policy fellowship offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend three months contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests. Relevant topics may include but not limited to: debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and creativity, consumer privacy, open government, government surveillance, data security, data innovation and free expression.

Official fellowship website:

Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellowship

The Open Web Fellows program is a collaboration between the Ford Foundation and Mozilla that brings together technology talent and civil society organizations from around the world to advance and protect the open internet. The fellowship aims to increase public awareness and understanding of internet policy issues, support and enable career paths in the internet policy and advocacy sectors, and celebrate a vibrant network of internet advocacy organizations.

Official fellowship website:

What CIPIT is looking for in fellows

As much as CIPIT is open to new ideas from prospective fellows, we give priority to individuals working on topics relevant to our main research topics. These include:

Intellectual property and Internet freedom

This involves research on practical intersections between intellectual property rights online and Internet freedom. Topics may include roles and responsibilities of Internet intermediaries in upholding human rights, assessing effectiveness of oversight structures in mediating access to content and intellectual property. We welcome new ideas on this program especially as they relate to internet freedom.

For more on this, check out our program page:

Information controls on the Internet

This involves research on the technical and legal nature of information controls online including motivation for censorship, technical implementations of censorship, actors in the ecosystem and impacts of such practices in the markets and political societies. Topics like privacy, surveillance, cyber security and how they relate to Internet freedom are priority areas for the program.

For more on this, check out our program page:

Further Clarifications

If the information on this page or linked websites is not sufficient, you may reach CIPIT on email or phone contact. However, considering that we receive torrents of correspondence, we may not reply to your requests immediately and as such request for your patience. If using email, please use 'Fellowships' in your subject title.

We look forward to hosting you in Nairobi!


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TEL : (254) 703 034 612