Dr. Oguamanam, Faculty of Law (Common Law Section) University of Ottawa, is a Full Professor affiliated with the three centres of excellence – Centre for Law, Technology and Society, Centre for Environment and Global Sustainability and Centre for Health Law, Policy, and Ethics. He is also a member of the International Law Group. Dr. Oguamanam holds Research Chair in Bio-Innovation, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Global Knowledge Governance at the University of Ottawa. He is the director of Access and Benefit Sharing Canada (ABS-Canada) and Co-founder of the Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) Partnership and holds senior research fellowships with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the University of Cape Town Intellectual property Unit and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law. He is inducted to the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars Artists and Scientists. Dr. Oguamanam is called to the Bar in Nigeria and Canada and is a member of Nigerian Bar Association and Nova Scotia’s Barristers’ Society.
Dr. Oguamanam practised intellectual property and corporate law prior to the commencement of his academic journey with embarking on graduate studies at the University of British Columbia where he obtained his LL.M. and Ph.D. degrees in law. He began his academic career as a fellow of Canada Institutes of Health Research Program in Health Law and Ethics of Health Research at Dalhousie University. He later joined Schulich School of Law (formerly Dalhousie University Law School) where he taught several courses including Contract and Judicial Decision-Making, Commercial Law (Sale of Goods), Law and Technology, Advanced Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property and Commercialization Placement, etc. In 2008, he became an adjunct professor at the Case Western Reserve Law School, Cleveland, OH where he taught Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Knowledge and International Law. At Dalhousie University, Dr. Oguamanam had administrative responsibility as acting and subsequently the substantive director of the Law and Technology Institute (2007-2011). He joined the University of Ottawa in 2011and continues to teach courses at JD and Graduate levels and to actively engage in graduate supervision in his diverse areas of interdisciplinary expertise in commercial law, intellectual property law, technology law, innovation, indigenous knowledge systems and global knowledge governance.
Professor Oguamanam has diverse interdisciplinary research interests 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. He identifies the policy and practical contexts for the exploration of the intersections of knowledge systems, particularly western science and the traditional knowledge of indigenous and local communities within the broader development discourse and paradigm. He is interested in the global institutional and regime dynamics for negotiating access and distributional challenges regarding the optimization of benefits of innovation by stakeholders. He has written and published several articles on international intellectual property law-making, biotechnology in the context of health and agriculture, indigenous peoples, indigenous knowledge, farmers’ rights, access and benefit sharing over genetic resources, environmental law and biodiversity conservation, the policy and legal intersections of traditional and hi-tech agricultural practices, documentation and digitization of local knowledge systems, globalization, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), medical ethics, nutrition, public health law and policy, colonialism and the legal profession. In addition to public speaking engagements nationally and internationally, Dr. Oguamanam provides technical and expert consulting and support services in his areas of work for states and sub-state actors, intergovernmental bodies, Indigenous and local communities in developed and newly industrializing countries and elsewhere. He is the author of several books, referred journal articles, commissioned reports, Op-Eds, and reviews. Some of his books include International Law and Indigenous Knowledge: Intellectual Property, Plant Biodiversity, and Traditional Medicine (University of Toronto Press, 2010), Intellectual Property in Global Governance: A Development Question (Routledge 2011), Genetic Resource Justice and Reconciliation (Cambridge, 2019).