Info and presentations from Open Access Africa 2011

Last month BioMed Central ran an event to coincide with Open Access Week.  In true open access style they have now made all the presentations available:

“Open Access Africa 2011, hosted by BioMed Central in conjunction with Computer Aid International, was held at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, during Open Access Week 2011. The conference brought together representatives from Google, British Medical Journal (BMJ), Department for International Development (DFID), Pan African Medical Journal and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to discuss open access publishing in an African context. All conference presentations and images are now available from our website.”

I was looking at the presentation from Helena Asamoah-Hassan, University Librarian, KNUST in Ghana entitled: “Case studies of open access initiatives for access to information in developing countries” in which she wrote of major benefits/obstacles:

Major Benefits: – Unrestricted access to knowledge, – Speed and reduced cost of distribution,  – Access to grey literatures from developing world, – Expanded opportunity to publishMajor Obstacles: -Poor State of ICT – limited computer literacy; high cost of internet access limiting access ; – low bandwidth, –  Copyright issues (authors sign away their rights and so cannot self archive their own papers) and – Misconception of Open Access resulting from lack of awareness.”

These points are certainly are worth remembering!  For me the issue is both an IP one, and a communications one – i.e. raising awareness where required and providing tailored solutions to access.    In her presentation Helena Asamoah-Hassan provides many examples of African initiatives already underway, and her suggestions to improve the OA situation.

It’s going to be a long, hard, and continuous process but there are many laudable projects moving in the right direction, as the presentations from the Open Access Africa event show!

Other related posts:
Offline OA: “OA’ (OA Prime): bringing OA resources to low connectivity areas”  a solution (hopefully a stop-gap) for low connectivity.  And “Open Access; more than just citation considerations” which talks about access, readership, download and citation of OA.

5 responses to “Info and presentations from Open Access Africa 2011

  1. Kay,thank you for sharing with us the issues that were covered by that group in their case studies.I would like to appreciate Helena for her bold coverage and highlight of the major findings. There is an area -Expanded opportunity to publish which is thought to be a benefit.I just wanted to differ a little by saying that a number of authors have their works just gathering dust in university libraries especially in developing world.This ought to be reversed in order to make more information readily available at the same time enabling the authors advance in their career. Kay this is one of the reasons I had in mind by requesting for your audience in my previous mail to you which are yet to reply to .Thank you so much.


  2. oh dear, I do apologise for not responding sooner. I have just read the comment you left on the previous post. Please let me know more so I can try and see if I can help further. Are you looking for other groups who deal with those topics? Are they all ag-related?

  3. Kay,thank you for your response .I had indicated that I have a few issues to raise and see if you can lobby your organization or use your networks to assist.The issues are as indicated below:
    1.I have completed my Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship Management and there is one Anthony Mbayaki ( a fellow Kenyan) who has been attending your conferences world over.He has told me a lot about your organization.I have developed an interest in attending the same , both to share my experiences and gain from what is shared.Are you able to enlist me ?
    2.I have secured an admission in a Kenyan university to pursue a PhD starting January 2012.The course work fee is close to $10,000 .I am in need of financial support for this .I therefore appeal to you for a hand.
    3.The third issue is about publishing some of the research results I have gathered to share with the rest of the world.Kindly link me up with a publisher who can partner with me in this direction.
    Thanks Kay, I look forward to hearing from you.
    Josam Nandwa Musambayi.

  4. Thanks for your interest.

    The programme that you mention, the one Anthony was involved in, unfortunately doesn’t have any meetings planned for now. There might be some new initiatives for national partners as part of the legal/IP community of the CGIAR Consortium in the future, but for now I have no news.

    As a rule we try to post any information I receive about scholarships, or research posts or even calls for papers for readers attention, but we don’t have our own grants program.

    Finally re your publishing point. If you have something you want to write about that is relevant to this blog – IP, particularly in the field of Ag or development then I will be more than happy to post it. You can email me directly with your ideas. If the topic is relevant to any colleagues I am in touch with then I will also pass this information on for you too.

    Good luck!

  5. Thanks Kay for your elaborate response.All has been noted and as we relate on the blog. I believe there is a lot we will cover together.I will keep you posted on what I intend to do.Bye for now.

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