Chidi Oguamanam
Chidi Oguamanam
Faculty member
University Research Chair in Sustainable Bio-Innovation, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Global Knowledge Governance Full Professor, Common Law Section, Faculty of Law Co-Lead, Open AIR Lead, ABS Canada

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Dr. Chidi Oguamanam is the University Research Chair in Sustainable Bio-Innovation, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Global Knowledge Governance, a Faculty member at the Centre for Law, Technology and Society, and a Full Professor within the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Chidi Oguamanam research interests lies 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 iIndigenous 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 in regard to the optimization of benefits of innovation by stakeholders.  

In addition to the Centre for Law, Technology and Society, Dr. Oguamanam is affiliated with the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics and the Centre for the Environment Law and Global Sustainability. He holds Senior Research Fellowships at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Waterloo and the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) at McGill University. He is a Senior Research Associate at the IP Law Unit at the University of Cape Town.   

Dr. Chidi Oguamanam 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 benefits 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, the Nigerian movie industry (Nollywood). A sample of his books include International Law and Indigenous Knowledge: Intellectual Property, Plant Biodiversity, and Traditional Medicine (University of Toronto Press in 2006) and Intellectual Property in Global Governance: A Development Question (Routledge 2011). He is the editor of Genetic Resources, Justice and Reconciliation: Canada and Global Access and Benefit Sharing (Cambridge 2019). 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. Dr. Oguamanam is freelance biographer.

Dr. Chidi Oguamanam joined the Faculty of Law (Common Law Section) University of Ottawa as an Associate Professor in July 2011. He is the co-founder and director of  the Open African Innovation Research network, Open AIR. He is also the Director of Access and Benefit Sharing Canada (ABS Canada). He previously practiced intellectual property and corporate law prior to 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 in 2003. In 2004, he joined Dalhousie Law School (now Schulich School of Law). At Dalhousie University, Dr. Oguamanam had administrative responsibility as acting and subsequently the substantive director of the Law and Technology Institute (2007-2011). In 2008, he became an adjunct professor at the Case Western Reserve Law School, Cleveland, OH. He is called to the Bar in Nigeria and Canada and is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and Nova Scotia’s Barristers’ Society. He is named to the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.