Indigenous knowledge, such as the Khoikhoi's use of hoodia as an appetite suppressant, have a history of being appropriated by large corporations.
Foreign firms in Zimbabwe are opting to protect their investments instead of fighting the new Zanu-PF indigenisation law.
Zimbabwe has turned up the heat on its indigenisation programme and issued a 14-day ultimatum to Tongaat Hulett's unit in the country, Triangle.
Analysts say Zimbabwe's forcing of foreign firms to hand over a 51% stake will scare away much-needed investment despite assurances to the contrary.
There's still been no deal set in stone on indigenising Impala's Zimbabwe operation despite the progress that has been made so far.
Zimbabwe has rejected a request by platinum miner Zimplats to extend a deadline to hand over a nearly 30% stake under a contentious equity law.
Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has warned Impala Platinum he will take the mine over if it doesn't comply with Zimbabwe's BEE laws.
The MDC is opposed to a new law giving local blacks majority shares in foreign companies and plans its own project to lure foreign investment.
Government spending in Zimbabwe is a big concern while disunity regarding black empowerment is discouraging investment, says Tendai Biti.
Zimbabwe is due to probe firms to establish their level of compliance with a law that forces them to sell at least 51% of shares to Zimbabwe locals.
Foreign companies operating in Zimbabwe have until Sunday to hand in plans to sell majority stakes to local investors.
Zimbabwe says it will not suspend any mining permits and exceptions may be made to laws requiring foreign miners to give majority stakes to locals.
More than 50 foreign-owned mining firms risk losing their licences after failing to submit acceptable indigenisation plans, media reports say.
Zimbabwean growth would most likely decelerate in 2011 if the government's policies remained unchanged, the International Monetary Fund has said.
Country's fragile economic recovery placed at risk by uncertainty surrounding Zanu-PF policies.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's main rival has denounced his plans to nationalise foreign-owned firms as "looting and plunder" by a greedy elite.
Zimbabwe's mining industry proposed on Friday that "social investments" count towards meeting new indigenisation regulations.
The IMF has urged Zimbabwe to respect private property rights as it implements a new law forcing foreign firms to sell majority shares to locals.
All foreign-owned mining companies in Zimbabwe will be required to sell majority stakes to locals, under new regulations released on Monday.
Some 480 firms have so far submitted proposals to the indigenisation ministry it is understood to be "in the process of sending out legal notices.