Distance Learning IPR Infringements and Botswanas Education System

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In this chapter, the meaning of Distance Learning programs, IPR infringements and the education system in Botswana will be analysed. Today, learning need not necessarily be confined to the four walls of a classroom. Sources of information are available everywhere but time and space separates these sources from the learner. But through the process of distance learning programs, the learners are connected to these sources which are remote. It is a delivery system of education which is instructional and connects the learners with educational resources (CDLP, 1997). Educational access is provided through distance learning programs to those learners who are not enrolled in educational institutions but can still avail the opportunities to learn. To attain success both as an individual and as a corporate, learning is highly essential. For this purpose a variety of resources are used by distance education programs through communication technologies so that the learning skills are developed.

Distance learning programs use different types of technologies for learning purposes such as computer, audio, video, print and audio graphics. Every educational need involves a wide variety of distance learning programs. A distance learning program that is comprehensive will include a set of learning tools which are created by a combination of various options of technology and will be able to meet the needs of the learner as well as the instructor (Michael Yoakam, 2001). Due to globalization and diversification of companies, more and more employees require retraining and this can only be achieved through distant education. The following are some of the distance learning programs which are delivered by universities:

Undergraduate courses

Graduate courses

Continuing education

In service training or staff development.

So, distant learning programs are very helpful for people who have full time jobs or are located in remote places. Students thereby interact with their instructors through computers, phone or other two way communications. (Michael Yoakam, 2001)

However, the education network which is based on telecommunications has its own intellectual property issues. Intellectual Property Rights refers to the rights of protection conferred to the intellectual endeavours of intellectual minds. (John Kiggundu, 2007). Now what is the meaning of IPR infringement? The infringement or the violation of an intellectual property right is known as IPR infringements. An IPR infringement can be any of these three mainly- Patent infringement, trademark infringement and copyright infringement. In the field of distant education programs, intellectual property issues may confront the universities which distribute educational programming through telecommunications. It is to be noted that there are measures to prevent copyright infringement and thereby attain flexibility in the field of distant education. According to the copyright act of 1976, ("Copyright Act") copyright is attached to a work automatically when it is set in a medium that is tangible (Kenneth, Dow, 2000). So, once the lectures of an instructor are recorded, he will receive copyright protection for it. Similarly, the outlines used for classroom instruction and thereby written down also enjoy copyright protection. So, universities and other telecommunication organization should obtain clearances from the copyright owners so that their material may be displayed or distributed as study materials to the learners.

The education system in Botswana is a strong foundation to the developing economy of the country. Educational opportunities are being offered to the people of Botswana so that the country becomes competitive internationally. Technical and conventional education is given more importance in Botswana to meet their growing need of skilled manpower. The main aim of these educational policies is to shift the economy from agro-based to an industrial economy. In order to achieve this, they are striving to increase productivity through training and education and by acquiring technological, managerial and entrepreneurial capabilities. The main objectives of the education system of Botswana include:

To highlight science and technology in the system of education.

To elevate the overall educational standard.

To avail education to a large number of people and make relevant training and education.

To provide education to every section of the population.

To develop the partnership between communities and schools for the improvement of education.

To attain efficiency in the field of education.

It is to be noted that since independence, Botswana has made incomparable progress in the field of education (SAIDE, 1999). The enrolments in the primary schools rose by 91 percent in the year 1971. Emphasis is placed on the overall development of a person with practical skills and prepares students for future careers. Students are equipped with knowledge and basic skills that will help them to shape their career. Seminars, courses and workshops are designed for employees and all levels of personnel in the economy so that their skills are enhanced and they are in a position to attend to their jobs more effectively. In addition, some innovative programs have also been included to improve the system of education. This includes the education for children with learning disabilities. Teachers are also kept informed about the changing structures of education through seminars and professional workshops. A scheme called the Tirelo Schaba teaches graduates about life in rural areas and national problems. This in turn helps them to become self reliant and develops their personality. The University of Botswana aims to acquire the position of a leading academic centre in Africa. As teaching and research is the core business of this university, it is interrelated to the intellectual property rights. The main intellectual property right that is related to the University of Botswana is the Copyright (John Kiggundu, 2007).A copyright law aims to protect the creative work of an artist or author, so that their work is not copied or reproduced with proper authorization. It is to be noted that Botswana has made progress in development of its infrastructure through the capitalization of the Intellectual property of the citizens. This is obvious from the Copyright Act in 2000 and the Industrial Property Act passed in 1996. Similar to the Copyright is the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Trade Related Aspect of the Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) which is a project of the World Trade Organisation.(WTO).

Chapter 2: Global impact of IPR infringements in Distance learning programs, Gaps in global context.

With the emergence of Distance learning programs and its globalization, the issue of IPR or Intellectual Property Rights have also come to the frontage (M. Luhanga, June 2000). The importance of the issue of IPR infringements have been focussed or highlighted due to its impact on the distance education programs. This can affect the reach and quality of the distance education programs initiated in the developing countries. It is a known fact that education has undergone great transformations and has forever adapted to the changing economic and social conditions. To meet the growing demands of life long learning, distance educations have played a prominent part in the field of education. Due to the issue of IPR infringement, distance education has acquired an enigmatic position.

As many editorial and academic documents are being used for the purpose of distant education, the issue that arises is who owns these course materials. Interestingly, universities and instructors are caught in this debate. A by product of globalization is the commercialization of the intellectual property in the developing countries. This is applicable even in the field of distance education. The most important IPR or Intellectual Property Rights are Copy rights, Patent rights, and Trademark rights. These rights protect the intellectual property.( John Kiggundu,2007). In the case of distance education institutions, the most important of all Intellectual Property Rights is the copyrights. If the matter is not in the public domain, then it has to be protected with these rights otherwise, it is not necessary. The intellectual property of distance education programs includes classroom study material such as lecture notes, videotapes, etc. This type of intellectual property is of great importance in the field of distant education.

Intellectual Property Rights should be protected by all means (Henry C.K.Lui, 2005). The major issue is to decide how much can be done to protect these rights from being violated. But unless and until these rights are protected, there will be no innovations or inventions. Universities are able to offer on line courses through multi media products by the use of communication technologies and information. As these informations are transmitted through multi-media products over the internet, infringement of copyrights easily take place. Since every student and instructor publishes multimedia material, efforts must be taken to:

1. To check the infringement of copyrights, construction and use of multimedia products should be properly governed.

2. Training and information should be provided so that intellectual properties are used ethically.

3. To enhance the global sharing of multimedia resources, by protecting the intellectual property and thereby safeguarding the international treaties and agreements.

The intellectual property rights system will also face new challenges with the development of global and national information thereby impacting the education system. Distribution of works protected by copyrights is done easily through the internet. These distributions are actually the right of the copyright owner and it should be protected. The development of global standards and agreements will help to curb infringements so that intellectual properties are protected and methods to share intellectual property are developed.

Through the Intellectual property rights, government gives the creators, rights as a form of incentive so that they create and produce ideas that will benefit the whole society.

With the infringement of Intellectual Property rights, the technology gap between the rich and the poor countries will be widened with time. It is important to know that almost a billion people in this world are not able to sign their names or read. The poor people have limited or no access to education, health and other services. In fact inequality and poverty is the backbone of globalization (Anup Shah, 2010). This is a kind of vicious circle with one leading to another. As educational facilities are denied to the poor people, the gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening.

The IPR infringement has affected the distance education in the least developed countries of the poor countries. There has been a monopoly of the international copyrights among the developed countries. (Alan Story, 2001). Most of the copyright laws such as the Berne Convention and the TRIPS, work for the benefit of the developed countries and the poor or the least developed countries (LDC) have benefited very less from these Intellectual property rights. The main aim of these LDC should be to avoid copy write restrictions and to gain easy access to study materials.

The rich tend to become richer and the poor poorer. The gap seems to be widening with each passing year. (See appendix). Since the poor are devoid of educational facilities, they have little or no voice in the political front or debates. This further leads to more poverty as they find it difficult to escape from the vicious circle. What are main reasons for this gap in the global context? The global decisions and policies are formulated and influenced by the rich and the powerful people. In the context of such influence, the poor nations and their governments are powerless. Due to these reasons, only a chosen few get richer and more influential where as the majority of the others are seen struggling. Poverty is a known fact whether you live in a rich country or a poor one. Inequality exists almost everywhere. Issues such as hunger, diseases and malnutrition affect the people which prevent them from obtaining a decent level of education. Many countries cut back on health, educational facilities and other social services and these are mainly due to the policies prearranged by the IMF (Anup Shah, 2010). In order to compete with other economies, developing countries strive to attain low labour and cheap resources at lowest possible rates. This in turn widens the gap in the global context.

 Chapter 3 - Study of Botswana's education system and opportunity of distance learning programs and possibilities of extrapolating the gaps identified in chapter 2

Ever since Botswana got its independence in 1966, educational development has reached its zenith. But during the time, the country had only a few graduates and only a few of the people attended secondary school. But after independence, a major breakthrough in the economy of Botswana was the discovery of diamonds. With this discovery, there was a substantial increase in the revenue of the country. Now the country was in a position to improve the educational system and provide basic education to majority of the population. Ten years of basic education was guaranteed to every student in Botswana which will confer them a Junior Certificate qualification (SAIDE, 1999). Another two years of secondary schooling is attended by more than half of the population of Botswana. These two years of schooling will award them the Botswana General Certificate of Education which is also known as BGCSE. After the formal schooling, students can attend any of the vocational courses either in nursing or teaching. They can also attend one among the six technical colleges in the country for further education. The Botswana college of Agriculture, the University of Botswana and the Botswana Accountancy College which is in Gaborone are some of the best colleges in the country and it is attended only by the best students in the country.

In addition to this there are many private territory colleges in the country. There are many students who attend these colleges which are located around the country. The government ensures the sponsoring of these students to boost the education level of the country. The teachers of the primary school are less paid and as a result primary schools are in short of the essential resources. Education in the primary schools thereby suffers a set back compared to the other sections of education. It is to be noted that more than 14,000 student are offered courses in Humanities, agriculture, science, education , social science etc by the universities that are spread across the country. Interestingly, Botswana government has invested a large part of their income in the field of education so that the country no longer depends excessively on expatriates and diamonds. However, after the initial free education schemes for the students, the government of Botswana reintroduced fees for schools in the year 2006. Even though fees for schools have been reintroduced after two decades, any student of the university who is a citizen of the Botswana is entitled to full scholarships and the government also confers free living expenses to them. This prospect is available to the students who wish to pursue further studies in the University of Botswana or anywhere abroad if the particular course they wish to pursue is unavailable in the country. In Botswana both boys and girls have equal admittance to education. But most of the girls do not pursue education further than secondary school due to many reasons.

The education system in Botswana is categorised into four (Botswana Education, 2001). They are as follows:





The Primary Education consists of seven standards. After pre-school, the first class that a student takes up is the first standard. A student has to pass the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) before the student takes up the secondary education. The main aim behind this examination is to evaluate whether a student is eligible or appropriate to take up the secondary education of the Botswana Education system. It is to be noted that at the end of standard 7, the PSLE is conducted.

The secondary school system is again categorized into two levels:

Junior Secondary

Senior Secondary

The JSS or the Junior Secondary School is tantamount to the Junior High School. It comprises of three forms mainly form 1, form 2 and form 3. A compulsory Junior Secondary Exam (JSE) is taken at the end of form 3. This exam is mainly to evaluate if the students qualify for the Senior Secondary.

The Secondary School is tantamount to the Senior High School. This level comprises of two forms mainly form 4 and form 5. This school prepares its students for the Tertiary school. The student is then issued a General Certificate in Secondary School Education of Botswana called (BGCSE), after the final examinations at the end of form 5. This resolves whether a student is qualified for tertiary education or not.

The Tertiary level studies are offered by many institutions. These institutions provide the youth with necessary skills required for procuring jobs in the government or private sector. They can also set up their own business and become entrepreneurs. The most important and the major Tertiary school is the University of Botswana. Some of the other universities are as follows:

ABM college

NIIT Botswana

Botswana Accountancy College (BAC)

Institute of Health Sciences

Botswana college of Agriculture.

The Gaborone Institute of Professional Studies (GIPS)

Botswana Institute of Administration and Commerce (BIAC)

Ba Isago University College

Limkokwing University for Creative Technology.

All the educational institutions except the University of Botswana are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education (SAIDE, 1999). The educational structure of Botswana is equivalent to that of the United Kingdom. The Primary and Junior Secondary schools can be easily accessed but to obtain entrance to the Senior Secondary School and the university, a student has to undergo a process of academic selectivity. In the year 2001, the education system in Botswana included primary education of seven years, junior secondary education of three years and senior secondary education of two years. The system of standard and form in primary and secondary level respectively is the result of 1993 National Education Commission Study.

The main objective of the Primary education is to make the children of Botswana literate first in Setswana then in English. The other objective includes that children should be educated in Mathematics and Social studies. There has been a substantial rise in the number of students who have completed primary level and entered junior secondary from the year 1991 to 1997.The census shows an increase from 65% to 98.5%. (Michael Yoakam, 2001)

The first education policy of Botswana known as Education for Kagisano helped to steer the development of education from the year 1977 to 1993.

For the purpose of assisting adult learners with higher education, distance education plays a very important role. Here, the development of Distance education in Botswana will be discussed and the viable technology for the programs of Distance education. It was in these recent years that Distance Education gained much prominence in the progress of higher education. Distance Education happens to be one of the innovative ways of modern education. The main reasons for its growing popularity are economized mode, adults' favourite, learner friendly and flexibility. A vital role is being played by the COL or the Common Wealth of Learning in promoting the use of latest communication technologies in Distance Education. (Dr. Kuruba,1999) It is quite true that some countries which a use the modern technologies where as some countries use traditional approaches in the learning process. There are countries which use both the traditional and the modern approaches for the purpose of Distance Learning.

The Distance Education in Botswana has undergone a recent expansion in the recent years. This expansion and effectual use is a major breakthrough in the history of Botswana. In the past, distance education for Pre-Tertiary education was in prominence but recently, Tertiary Education is also included in the distance education mode( Dr. Kuruba,1999) By including the latest technologies in distance education, the government of Botswana is dedicated to accelerate the development of distance education through the University of Botswana. The government of Botswana is prepared to strengthen the distance education programs which are supported by technology. The country has taken steps to help the adults, even if they are full time workers, by delivering technology based distance education. Lately, new programmes and latest equipments required for the programs have been installed by the Botswana College of Distance and Opening Learning (BOCODOL) and the University of Botswana.

Basically, distance education was initiated in two levels in Botswana, one being the consumer level and the other being the provider of distance education. To train many untrained teachers in Botswana, the teachers of Botswana were trained from Zimbabwe in the year 1960 -1965. Through the UNESCO project in Francis town, Botswana grew to be the provider of distance education in the year 1986. To upgrade 700 teachers, this programme resorted to a blend of private study and residential courses. This resulted in the establishment of the Botswana Extension College (BEC) which included courses mainly for the General Certificate of Education (GCE) and the Junior Certificate (JC). Later in the year, 1978, the BEC was absorbed by the DNFE or the Department of Non Formal Education and commence functioning as the DNFE's Distance Education Division or the DED. The main function of this unit was to provide distance education programs to Junior and Senior Secondary levels (SAIDE, 1999)

Distance Education programs were also initiated to educate the nurses in the Institute of Health Sciences. The two institutions mainly the BOCODOL and the DEU in the University of Botswana are have initiated a number of programmes and many are yet to be introduced in the near future.

Further, the gaps in the global context, as identified in chapter 2, is the next topic to be discussed. The adult education program through the distance education mode helps to improve the language of the students and thereby contributes in reducing the poverty in the country. Language forms the basis of education and development and helps an individual to grow socially and individually.

Gaps refer to the economic disparity found among the people of Botswana. For the purpose of bridging the gap between the wealthy and the underprivileged, adult education through distance education programs are essentially helpful. In the discussion of poverty reduction, language plays a pivot role as better language gives access to the learners to political, economical and educational resources. It will in turn improve their standard of living. The adult education programs should include multilingual programs so that students make use of their knowledge as well as exhibit their confidence. They will have the chance to build their self esteem and individuality. Adult education is better than formal education to fight poverty and thereby the gap in the society because it involves educating the influential, productive and experienced people of the society. Adult education involves not only the education of adults but also influences the younger generation.

Adult education in Botswana is mainly intended to bridge the gap between the wealthy and the underprivileged. This will in turn help in the development of the country by improving the standard of living of the poor. Though education was freely conferred to all the students of Botswana in the beginning, due to the increasing disparity in the economy, basic education has to be paid a price mainly in the form of fees. But still, the government confer scholarships and other facilities to students of the university.

Chapter 4 - Outlining of the solutions to the gaps identified in chapter 3

Even though Botswana is a rich country, with a population of almost two million people, not everyone in the country is rich (Refentse, 2009).The overall infrastructural growth and the job opportunities have been slow in pace. Though the country is rich in diamonds, the people are poor and majority of them live on 1 dollar a day. It is through the government programmes and infrastructure which includes subsidised education and free treatment for Aids that the common man benefits. These programs are mainly sponsored by the government with the diamond wealth. The country has one of the biggest gaps between the wealthy and the underprivileged. It should be noted that the unemployment level in the country is as high as 24%.

The need to diversify the economy has arisen due to the increasing economic crisis. The government had to cut down the scholarships for the university students. More than 5000 students were not conferred scholarship this year. The plans and strategies introduced by the government of Botswana are mainly aimed to improve the standard of living of the people as well as conserve the environment of the country. These strategies which improve the standard of living of the people improve the employment opportunities of the people and thereby accelerate the generation of income. These strategies include Arable Land Development program, Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency etc. The government of Botswana has invested almost $23 million in the agricultural sector which will in turn help the farmers to improve their agricultural productivity. Almost 30,000 farmers have benefited from this program but due to continuous drought, Botswana has experienced food shortage. Poverty can be of two types, one being the economic and non economic poverty (Anup Shah, 2010). A certain amount of money is required for people so that they can afford their basic needs and when this is impossible, it is known as economic poverty. This poverty includes lack of income, lack of asset ownership and employment.

Non-economic poverty includes lack of non material things such as inadequate access to educational facilities, loss of identity, minimal participation in the civic life and low self esteem. The role of language in reducing poverty is quite noteworthy (Springer Netherlands, May 2006) With the implementation of language in the field of education, the identity, image, self esteem of a person is enhanced and thereby it leads to better participation of the person in the field of socio economic developments. So adult education programs which focus on language will help to reduce poverty and thereby find a solution to the gaps in the society. These learners will be able to access pertinent information and also participate in community activities and thus improve their overall personality and lives.

The local language of Botswana is Setswana and it is used as the medium of instruction in most of the schools where children as well as adults are educated. The adult education program comprises of formal and non-formal activities of learning and thereby contributes to the development of a person's socio economic and cultural background. So in order to achieve this particular goal, the language situation should be considered important in the field of adult education program (Springer Netherlands, May 2006). The program needs to emphasise on matters such as the languages used in the adult education program, whether these languages help the learners to participate in the social and economic activities of their country without fear of being snubbed, whether their language can be improved to meet the present standard and needs of the country.

Adult education programs can fight poverty than other formal education as it involves the education of a class of people who are responsible as well as productive to the society.

They are in fact responsible for the generation of income of the country and also help to preserve the resources of the country. They also contribute in making the laws that govern the distribution of income. One of the main issues that the adult education program in Botswana should address is the minor ethnic groups and their languages which have a great impact on the education, self esteem and participation in the civic life.

In order to include the identities of different communities in the adult education program of Botswana, a language policy that promotes the multilingual and multicultural face of Botswana should be encouraged. This can only be achieved through the promotion of national, local and official languages in the adult education programs in Botswana. So in order to solve the issue of gaps in the society, adult education is one of the best ways to bridge the gap and thereby give learners an opportunity to use their native language to teach, transmit information as well as advertise.

Chapter 5 - Summary, conclusions and recommendations for future study

In the above chapters, the importance of Distance Education has been analysed. Distance Education has played a key role in the upliftment of the society. It has been analysed that education cannot be confined to as particular space. Learning never ends. There is no specific time to begin and end learning. It can continue forever. The benefits of the distance education programs have been evaluated in the chapters above. Learners including adults who are working full time can benefit from the distance education mode.

The importance of Intellectual Property Rights and their infringement has also been analysed in the above chapters. The IPR infringements involved in the Distance learning programs have also been evaluated. Furthermore, the different measures to prevent the copyright infringements have also been highlighted. The education system of Botswana has been overviewed in detail. The progress that Botswana has attained in the field of education is noteworthy. The country has given utmost priority to education and this includes Distance Education too. The government has taken major steps to promote educational institutions as well as confer free education to children. Scholarships are awarded to students of the university. The government of Botswana has also taken adequate steps to promote the growth of Distance Education. It became the provider of Distance Education in the year 1986 and has initiated many programmes to promote Distance Education programs in the country. The Government of Botswana has taken keen interest in the upgrading the economic strategy of the country. (SAIDE, 1999). This is possible only through the educative programs to majority of the population. The country prides in having many universities and schools that offer courses that ensure to bring forth a generation that is efficient in all walks of life. The government has also introduced schemes to educate people on the rural sectors and national issues of the country.

The impact of IPR infringement on the Distance Education programs has also been highlighted in the above chapters. The infringement of IPR has affected the quality as well as the reach of distance education in all possible ways. The government of Botswana has taken measures to prevent the infringement of copyrights. The infringements of copyrights have also led to the widening gap in the society. Due to a substantial increase in the poverty level, majority of the people have limited or no access to educational facilities. It is shocking to know that more than a billion people find it impossible to even sign their names.

It is a noteworthy fact that the government of Botswana has been able to channelise its funds for the development of education. The importance of the University of Botswana has also been highlighted above. It is the only university in the country of Botswana that is not under the authority of the Ministry of Education (SAIDE, 1999)

As education is given priority by the government, there has been a substantial increase in the number of literate people in the country. The increase has been drastic with almost 98%. The part played by Common Wealth of Learning in promoting Distance Education through the implementation of latest technologies is praiseworthy. The government is keen on providing technology based distance education to the people of the country.

Education further improves the economic structure of the country and causes a shift from the agro based to industrial based economy. Another noteworthy breakthrough in the field of education is the implementation of language based education. Language is one of the best ways to communicate effectively and thereby helps in the contributing to the society. This in turn helps to reduce the economic gap between the people of the country.

Adult education is one field of education that is given priority in the country of Botswana. Distance Education to the adults in the form of Adult Education programs are conferred to adults because they form the backbone of the economy.

Another issue that is addressed in the above chapter is the adult education programs and the minor ethnic groups. It is important to give the local languages prominence so that proper communication takes place thereby leading to better understanding power. The adult education programs include the language policy that involves all the languages including the minor ones to be given due importance. This will ultimately lead to the improvement of the lower stratum of the economy.

In above chapters mainly focus on the education system of Botswana and the importance of Distance Education for the overall development of the country. In addition, the limelight is also focussed on the Intellectual Property rights and their infringements and what can be possibly done to avoid such violations to protect the right of the owners.


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