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Challenges and Opportunities in the Protection and Preservation of Indigenous Knowledge in Africa

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Msuya, Jangawe
Journal: International Review of Information Ethics
Volume: 7
Date: 2007
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5726
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Africa
Subject(s): indigenous knowledge
indigenous institutions
Abstract: "This paper presents challenges and opportunities in the protection and preservation of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) in Africa. Specific examples have been taken from the Maasai pastoralists and the Sambaa and Zigua traditional medicine-men of North Eastern Tanzania. The paper argues that there is a threat of IK extinction due to lack of recording and problems associated with preservation and protection of the knowledge from pirates. Examples on efforts made by Tanzania in IK preservation, including efforts made by Economic and Social Research Foundation in developing IK database and training initiatives at University of Dar es Salaam are discussed. Ethical issues in IK Systems are also discussed with emphasis on returning IK benefits to the owners of the knowledge, and involvement of people in IK researches. Finally, the paper highlights challenges in IK prevention and suggests measures that can be taken to alleviate the challenges. These include among others, developing appropriate IK policies and practices, establishing IK resource centres, training, researching and developing South South IK networks."

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