Chidi Oguamanam


Project on Intellectual Property and Open Development in Africa (OPEN AIR)

The Open A.I.R. – African Innovation Research and Training: Exploring the Role of Intellectual Property in Open Development

The project is a three-year initiative that is housed in the University of Cape Town Intellectual Property Law and Policy Research Unit ( UCT IP), with implementation support from the University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society.  The project mobilizes African research resource and expertise (local and Diaspora) in examining how intellectual property regimes can be harnessed in Africa to facilitate innovation through collaboration and through making the processes of innovation and knowledge generation more participatory and accessible, and making the benefits thereof more widely shared.  The project is a major attempt to understand the global and local intellectual property narrative from African perspectives through diverse research teams and through the establishment of networks, strategic collaborations and various forms of institutional capacity building with developmental orientation to intellectual property.  I am a member of the OPEN AIR research team and institutional partnership for this project.

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The Intersection of Agricultural Biotechnology and Public Health: Appraising      Biofortification 
Upon the background of objections to GMOs and other products of agricultural biotechnology in some quarters, the project seeks to examine how less developed countries and other communities in need can constructively deploy agricultural biotechnolgy as a public health incentive to tackle a number of public health challenges, especially malnutrition. I focus on biofortification as a public good initiative and examine current programs for public access to biofortified food products and how intellectual property is implicated and negotaited.

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 I am an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa and affiliated with the Centre for Technology, Law and Society. My research interests are in the areas of global knowledge governance in general, especially as manifested in the dynamics of intellectual property and technology law with emphasis on biodiversity, biotechnology, including agricultural biotechnology and the interactions of modern technologies with the knowledge systems of the world's indigenous and local communities.  More details...



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