The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

H3Africa and the African life sciences ecosystem: building sustainable innovation

Dandara, Collet; Huzair, Farah; Borda-Rodriguez, Alexander; Chirikure, Shadreck; Okpechi, Ikechi; Warnich, Louise and Masimirembwa, Collen (2014). H3Africa and the African life sciences ecosystem: building sustainable innovation. OMICS A Journal of Integrative Biology, 18(12) pp. 733–739.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (161kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1089/omi.2014.0145
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Interest in genomics research in African populations is experiencing exponential growth. This enthusiasm stems in part from the recognition that the genomic diversity of African populations is a window of opportunity for innovations in postgenomics medicine, ecology, and evolutionary biology. The recently launched H3Africa initiative, for example, captures the energy and momentum of this interest. This interdisciplinary socio-technical analysis highlights the challenges that have beset previous genomics research activities in Africa, and looking ahead, suggests constructive ways H3Africa and similar large scale science efforts could usefully chart a new era of genomics and life sciences research in Africa that is locally productive and globally competitive. As independent African scholars and social scientists, we propose that any serious global omics science effort, including H3Africa, aiming to build genomics research capacity and capability in Africa, needs to fund the establishment of biobanks and the genomic analyses platforms within Africa. Equally they need to prioritize community engagement and bioinformatics capability an d the training of African scientists on these platform s. Historically , the financial, technological, and skills imbalance between Africa and developed countries has created exploitative frameworks of collaboration where African researchers have become merely facilitators of Western funded and conceived research agendas involving offshore expatriation of samples. Not surprisingly, very little funding was allocated to infrastructure and human capital development in the past. Moving forward, capacity building should materialize throughout the entire knowledge co-production trajectory: idea generation (e.g., brainstorming workshops for innovative hypotheses development by African scientists), data generation (e.g., genome sequencing), an d high-through put data analysis an d contextualization . Additionally, building skills for political science scholarship that questions the unchecked assumptions of the innovation performers be they funders, scientists, and social scientists, would enable collective innovation that is truly sustainable, ethical, and robust.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
ISSN: 1557-8100
Keywords: life Sciences; sustainable innovation; H3Africa; development
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Item ID: 41504
Depositing User: Alexander Borda-Rodriguez
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2014 14:11
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2017 00:25
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/41504
Share this page:

Altmetrics

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340   general-enquiries@open.ac.uk