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ACA2K Executive Policy Brief: Ghana

This study is particularly important given that there are also frequent reports of disagreements among copyright stakeholders on matters pertaining to access to knowledge in Ghana. The differences among rights-holders and educational institutions stem from multiple factors that include, but are not limited to, photocopying activities, royalty

payments, copyright education and enforcement, and collective administration. Moreover, the high incidence of poverty in Ghana makes the question of affordability/accessibility to copyright-protected materials crucial in order for any meaningful research and teaching to take place in educational institutions. In addition, the fact that Ghana was ranked 135th out of 177 countries in a recent UNDP global education index, raises serious concerns as to ‘knowledge sufficiency’ for human and economic development – hence the study.2

1.3 Use of Study outcome

The outcomes of this study will form the basis for awareness-raising in support of the institutionalisation of systems that facilitate easy access to learning materials in Ghana and other countries. In the context of Ghana in particular, this study could play a role in making a case for the re-conceptualisation of copyright administration to address and do away with possible ‘rigidities’ and ‘inadequacies’ existing under the current Copyright Act. The situation could improve through copyright reforms and the passing of comprehensive subsidiary legislation – or a legislative instrument (L.I.) as it is also called – that is currently (as this report is being written in mid-2009) being debated in Ghana. The subsidiary legislation is aimed at fleshing out the framework provisions contained in the parent Act.

Also, the findings in this report are designed to serve as reference material for the main stakeholders identified, and in some cases interviewed, during the course of the study. Thus, it is hoped that this study will contribute to the development of a legal, regulatory and practical environment that serves to increase the scope of access to teaching and learning materials in Ghana. Further, it is hoped that this study will assist in the development of an enabling environment for positive interactions between copyright-users, such as educational institutions, on the one hand, and private collective societies on the other hand.

The reformulation of copyright laws and policies can be expected to lead to better educational outcomes. This will in turn lead to better social and economic conditions in Ghana.

2UNDP ‘UNDP human development index’ in Human development report 2007 (2007). Available at http://hdrstats.undp.org/ indicators/7.html [Accessed April 2008].

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