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An innovative legal research project led by Professor Donrich Thaldar of UKZN’s School of Law has been awarded R18 million in funding by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is the world’s largest public funder of health-related research, supporting research worldwide that has an impact on knowledge of health and medicine.
The project will focus on the legal aspects of the use of data science for health innovation in Africa and aims to provide legal clarity and practical guidance on issues that are critical for scientists.
‘The law is often multi-layered and complex, and may differ between jurisdictions,’ commented Thaldar. ‘To facilitate health discovery and innovation that uses data science, we need to provide scientists with legal clarity on issues such as the use of persons’ geospatial data, cross-border sharing of data, and the use of data to train artificial intelligence.’
The project will also make recommendations on inter-jurisdiction harmonisation through the lens of decolonisation and Africanisation. It will involve 12 African nations and will be driven by a project team of leading law academics from different regions on the continent.
‘Our objective is to empower policymakers across the continent to make the law more attuned to the needs and expectations of the people of Africa,’ said Thaldar.
*The content of this is article does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
Words: Ndaba Online