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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

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…

Chidi Oguamanam 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…

Victor Nzomo 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…

Chidi Oguamanam 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…

Uchenna Ugwu December 15, 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…

Victor Nzomo October 6, 2016