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Who We Are

The Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) at The American University in Cairo’s School of Business is a regional center for scholarship, research and policy analysis on access to knowledge, intellectual property and human development in Egypt, the Arab world and Africa. A2K4D’s work is guided by a belief in the positive impact of A2K on inclusive development in the digital age. A2K4D promotes rigorous research on legal and economic issues confronting access to knowledge, a valuable resource to academics and policymakers. The center strives to raise awareness of the A2K paradigm.

In collaboration with international partners, A2K4D launched the Access to Knowledge Global Academy in 2008, promoting research and advocacy on the equitable production and distribution of knowledge goods and tools. A2K4D is the recipient of the Richard Bartlett Gift to support collaboration with Yale Law School's Information Society Project. The center is also a participant in the Global Network of Internet and Society Centerschampioned by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Additionally, A2K4D serves as the North African Hub of the Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR).


As a hub for policy-oriented research, A2K4D strives to promote access and contribution to knowledge to advance human development in Egypt, the Arab World and Africa. The center promotes empirical and interdisciplinary research, capitalizing on the role of knowledge in human development and using evidence-based approaches to address national and regional development needs. In doing so, we aim to provide a voice from the region as well as communities of practice that contribute to global scholarship and to the shaping of global debates surrounding knowledge, technology and development. 



A2K4D’s mission is to sustain and foster new research collaborations and partnerships with leading global and regional institutions through building the caliber of young researchers and engaging with stakeholders.



The Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) fosters rigorous policy-oriented research that conceptualizes and investigates the economic and legal challenges that face access to knowledge, as well as the implications on human development in Egypt, the Arab World and Africa. The center’s research helps devise well thought-out models that overcome barriers to knowledge access, may they be legal, economic, technical, political, social and/or cultural. In particular, A2K4D’s research investigates new business models that address the tension between the interests of knowledge users and producers as well as appropriate knowledge governance solutions.  The center’s research also aims to provide policymakers, negotiators and international representatives with well-researched intellectual property alternatives that advance knowledge production and dissemination in developing countries.