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Protection of indigenous knowledge comes under spotlight at international conference

The Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill is one step away from being enacted. The National Assembly approved it on 13September 2018, and has now only to be signed into law by the President.

The Bill seeks to provide legal protection for indigenous knowledge (IK); that is knowledge generated and owned by communities. Such knowledge includes medical practices, the production of food products, cultural expressions, songs and designs.

Indigenous knowledge is currently not protected by South Africa's intellectual property law, and the Bill is intended to put an end to this anomaly and the exploitation of IK by international companies.

The protection of IK will come under the spotlight next week (25 to 27 September) at an international conference hosted by the Department of Science and Technology DST) in partnership with North-West University.

The event from will bring together 250 local and international professionals, academics, IK holders, IK experts, IK practitioners and researchers involved in using indigenous knowledge to improve the quality of life in rural communities.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, will deliver the keynote address at the 2018 International Indigenous Knowledge Systems Conference, which is being held under the theme "Protecting indigenous knowledge towards socio-economic development".

The outcomes will inform various government and stakeholder programmes of action that could contribute to the realisation of a number of the Sustainable Development Goals. The conference will focus on alleviating poverty in developing countries through the recognition and utilisation of local resources, including indigenous knowledge.

The media are invited to an exhibition by IK practitioners, the official opening of the conference by the Minister of Science and Technology and lunch.

Time: 08:45-13:15

Venue: Protea Fire & Ice Hotel, Menlyn, Pretoria

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