With the growing need for access of research data tied to mapping and consolidating information of genetic resources at a central data centre the importance of protecting data cannot be downplayed. Managing and protecting research data through Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) systems is therefore an imperative step towards ensuring users and providers come to an agreement for equitable sharing of benefits from the data use.
According to Mr. Jonathan Sangoro, the Lead Operations at Amband Limited, the ABS systems, established under the Nagoya protocol, is important in ensuring research and patent activity are well documented in areas that research has taken place.
“The Nagoya protocol, adopted on October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan focuses on access to genetic resources and the fair equitable sharing of benefits from their utilization,” Mr. Sangoro observed.
With the systems significance in safeguarding against bio-piracy, Mr. Sangoro noted, this would be fundamental in ensuring plagiarism and other malpractices do not arise. This, he further expounded hinged on having the systems being integrated and hosted in data centers that are safe and not easily accessible to hackers.
“This system can help a researcher get a full report on research done, patents and get a clear picture on available areas one can expound further with regards to their work,” Mr. Sangoro asserted.
On his part, Chair, Innovation Centre for Computing and Technological (iCCATs), Dr. Michael Kimwele said Information Technology (IT) sector has revolutionalized the data world through creating systems like the ABS which will be essential in addressing Intellectual Property issues through setting up strong data hubs.
While echoing, Dr. Kimwele’s sentiments, Chief Advisor, Africa-ai-Japan Project, Prof. Hiroshi Koaze said with developing countries not having the ability of accessing their genetic resources the system will be the key to breaking down this bottleneck.
“This system will be important to the researchers and ensure data is well protected and easily accessible to the stakeholders.” Prof. Koaze stated.
He advocated for the local communities that live around these genetic resources to be considered throughout the process as they are the custodians of the resources available.
The seminar was the 39th among a series innovation incubation webinars organized under the auspices of AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project