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Recognizing Africa’s role in the global knowledge economy.
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Research Area

Indigenous Entrepreneurs

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Open AIR Expert

Chidi Oguamanam

Chidi Oguamanam

Professor at University of Ottawa

RESEARCH AREA DESCRIPTION

Traditional knowledge has always been a source of livelihood for people, and is increasingly becoming a source of innovation for many entrepreneurs.

The informal economy, the health care sector, the fashion industry, the and entertainment industries, and the hospitality industry are just a few of the sectors that take inspiration from traditional knowledge. It’s the raw material for building niche businesses and creating economic opportunities. These innovations are also increasingly taking into account modern technologies, especially information and communication technologies.

Such technologies are crucial in scaling up traditional knowledge and the economic empowerment of its stakeholders.

Open AIR’s research focuses on how traditional knowledge is used in the interests of indigenous communities, and how it helps establish entrepreneurial businesses.

To find out more about Open AIR’s work on traditional knowledge and IP, go to our case studies page, our annual report, or our two published books: Innovation and Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014), and Knowledge and Innovation in Africa: Scenarios for the Future (Cape Town: Open AIR, 2013).

RECENT DISCUSSION

about Indigenous Entrepreneurs

US Fails to Block Progress over Genetic Resources Text at WIPO-IGC 36

US Fails to Block Progress over Genetic Resources Text at WIPO-IGC 36

Photo credit: Image by Ville Oksanen via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) By Chidi Oguamanam, cross-posted from ABS Canada. After six days of deliberations (June 24-29,…

admin July 11, 2018
Harnessing Digital Agriculture to Advance African Food Security: Open AIR Research Charts the Way Forward

Harnessing Digital Agriculture to Advance African Food Security: Open AIR Research Charts the Way Forward

By Uchenna Felicia Ugwu Achieving global food security will require innovation. Processes like plant phenotyping and technologies like digital imaging are examples…

Victoria Schorr June 26, 2018
WIPO Expert Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Takes Another Look at Draft Genetic Resources Text in 2018

WIPO Expert Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Takes Another Look at Draft Genetic Resources Text in 2018

By Chidi Oguamanam For the 35th time in 18years, experts have yet again gathered at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) headquarters in Geneva…

Victoria Schorr March 26, 2018
WIPO Special Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and  Traditional Cultural Expression Shies Away from Consolidating its Mandate but  Agrees on Lack of Indigenous Participation

WIPO Special Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Traditional Cultural Expression Shies Away from Consolidating its Mandate but Agrees on Lack of Indigenous Participation

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s specialist committee charged with negotiating text-based instrument(s) for the effective protection of Genetic Resources…

Victoria Schorr June 28, 2017
Open AIR East Africa Distinguished Speaker Series: Dr. Henry Mutai on IP, Trade and Regional Integration in Africa

Open AIR East Africa Distinguished Speaker Series: Dr. Henry Mutai on IP, Trade and Regional Integration in Africa

On 10 June 2015, the Agreement establishing a Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) was signed in Egypt bringing together 26 African countries from three major regional…

Victoria Schorr March 23, 2017
WIPO 33rd IGC Session Puts Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs) on the Spotlight

WIPO 33rd IGC Session Puts Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs) on the Spotlight

The WIPO-IGC recently commenced the next installment of its deliberations for a text-based instrument that focuses on the protection of traditional cultural expressions…

Victoria Schorr March 1, 2017
Recognizing Informal Sector Innovation: Implications for Traditional Knowledge Development in Africa

Recognizing Informal Sector Innovation: Implications for Traditional Knowledge Development in Africa

In 2012, a civil society group called the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), raised concerns about a draft Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization…

Victoria Schorr December 15, 2016
Makerspaces and Creativity

Makerspaces and Creativity

Looking back at Open AIR’s ‘Making’ Innovation Happenroundtable   By Sean Boots In mid August, Open AIR hosted a roundtable discussion on makerspaces…

Victoria Schorr November 7, 2016
Dr. Kakooza “Dealing with Trans-Border Quasi-Intellectual Property"

Dr. Kakooza “Dealing with Trans-Border Quasi-Intellectual Property"

In October 2010, Yoweri Museveni, the President of Uganda, recorded a rap song titled: "Do You Want Another Rap?" as part of his re-election campaign to capture…

Victoria Schorr October 6, 2016
Drawn Out Battle Over Genetic Resources Dampens Africa’s Hopes

Drawn Out Battle Over Genetic Resources Dampens Africa’s Hopes

The global South is full of significant, diverse biological and genetic resources. It’s also home to most of the world’s indigenous communities. This is why…

Victoria Schorr April 28, 2016
Open Call for Case Studies

Open Call for Case Studies

Open AIR is calling for African case studies that shed light on the following two overarching research questions: How can open collaborative innovation help businesses…

Nan Warner November 12, 2015