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Using Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) to ensure Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Heritage Preservation

Join the African PID Alliance and DataCite as they illuminate the path to preserving Africa's diverse indigenous knowledge and cultural heritage.

Published onMar 19, 2024
Using Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) to ensure Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Heritage Preservation

The African PID Alliance, in partnership with DataCite, hosted a webinar discussing how PIDS play a crucial role in African countries to preserve their indigenous knowledge and cultural heritage.

Key agenda of the webinar:

  • Africa PID Alliance’s objective in producing PIDs for Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Heritage through its multilinear model to support the object lifecycle.

  • Real-world cultural heritage preservation challenges and opportunities within Kenya, as an example for Africa.

  • An introduction to IGSN IDs and their use cases and the practicalities of IGSN ID adoption for cultural heritage sites and objects. Indigenous Knowledge: Assigning PIDs to indigenous knowledge is an important step towards preserving, documenting, and managing it respectfully in digital systems. PIDs are unique identifiers that can be assigned to a variety of digital assets, including texts, images, audio recordings, videos, and databases. They provide the persistent and explicit identification of these resources, ensuring their discoverability, accessibility, and citability across time.

The webinar provided an avenue to demonstrate how the Africa PID Alliance project by The Training Centre in Communication Africa intends to Affirm its strong call to preserve Africa`s Cultural Heritage and Indigenous Knowledge. Most African countries lack financing and infrastructure; therefore, cultural heritage sites and objects are poorly identified and recorded.

The speakers of the session included:

  • Joy Owango- Moderator, Executive Director Training Centre in Communication.

  • Lesley Wyborn-  Honorary Professor, National Computational Infrastructure Facility, Australia National University, Canberra.

  • Jens Klump- Group leader, Exploration Through Cover, Common Wealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Government of Australia CSIRO and President, IGSN.

  • Dr. Kiprop Lagat- Director of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, Government of Kenya.

  • Rorie Edmunds- Samples Community Manager, Data Cite.

  • Bosun Obileye- Regional Engagement Specialist, Africa- Datacite




TCC Africa
The Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa), is the first African-based training centre to teach effective communication skills to scientists. TCC Africa is an award-winning Trust, established as a non-profit entity in 2006 and is registered in Kenya. TCC Africa provides capacity support in improving researchers’ output and visibility through training in scholarly and science communication.


Africa PID Alliance
The Africa PID Alliance is an  Open Infrastructure Program of the Training Centre in Communication (TCC-AFRICA). The mission is to secure the future of African Innovation, Indigenous Knowledge, and Cultural Heritage. We are also striving to support scientists and inventors to disseminate and commercialize their research innovations. Digitizing of research outputs is a real challenge in Africa. Through the Africa PID Alliance innovative projects, we provide reliable open research infrastructure services which provides access to knowledge and metadata about digital objects closer to the wider communities, including indigenous knowledge and patent metadata, starting from Africa

DataCite was founded in 2009 on the principle of being an open stakeholder-governed community that is open to participation from organizations around the world. Today, that continues to be true. Although our services have expanded, we continue to remain grounded in our roots. DataCite’s umbrella was formed with the aim of safeguarding common standards worldwide to support research, thereby facilitating compliance with the rules of good scientific practice. We sustain open infrastructure services to ensure that research outputs and resources are easily findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). DataCite’s services are foundational components of the scholarly ecosystem. As the ecosystem continues to evolve, governance, sustainability and living-will insurance have become increasingly important components of the open infrastructure. Together with several open scholarly infrastructure organizations and initiatives, DataCite adopted The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure in 2021. DataCite conducted its own audit against the principles.

Global Access Program
The Global Access Program is an initiative to improve access and enable communities in lesser-represented regions to further benefit from our open infrastructure services. The program has been made possible in part by grant 2022-316573 from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, Government of Kenya
The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife plays the oversight role of coordinating and overseeing policy direction and planning; product diversification and experience; tourism marketing and promotion; synergy building and improving the alignment between supply and demand; enhancing competitiveness and investment potentials and monitoring and evaluation of tourism programs and activities in the country.

IGSN e.V. is a non-profit organization, founded in 2011 to manage the allocation and registration of International Generic Sample Numbers (IGSNs). The IGSN Organisation works with DataCite to provide a globally recognized persistent identifier for sample identification and tracking that facilitates the efficient sharing of samples and their associated metadata among researchers, institutions, and databases.

Additionally, IGSN e.V. works to promote the use of IGSNs in research and to establish partnerships with other data infrastructures to enhance the integration and interoperability of sample data and metadata. The organization also provides a range of services related to IGSNs, such as training, support, and software tools for managing and sharing sample data and metadata.

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