Intellectual property tools must address African challenges: Tweya

17 Jul 2018 07:30am
WINDHOEK, 17 JUL (NAMPA) – European tools on Intellectual Property (IP) must be domesticated so as to address African challenges, Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Tjekero Tweya said on Monday.
“Do not be copycats, adjust the tools to fit the African agenda and don’t replace the local with the foreign,” Tweya said during the official opening of a five-day technical workshop on IP Windhoek.
The Namibian Government through the Ministry of Industrialisation, according to Tweya, remains committed to supporting industrial, trade, investment and business activities.
“This is an effort to create an enabling environment for creativity, competitiveness, protection, utilisation and commercialisation of intellectual property,” the minister said.
Reflecting on some developments on IP, Tweya said Namibia, with the assistance of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, developed the draft IP policy and strategy which was approved by Cabinet last month.
The policy sets Namibia’s vision for IP, identifies objectives and key strategies and establishes an institutional framework to serve as the coordinating body in IP-related policy and strategic matters.
The establishment of the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) was another development. Tweya said it is expected from BIPA to put mechanisms in place to ensure effective and efficient Intellectual Property administration.
“I must mention that efficient administration of intellectual property in Namibia is not simply an aspiration, but is legally provided for through an Act of Parliament, namely the Business and Intellectual Authority Act No. 8 of 2016,” he said.
Collin Marenga, an intellectual property officer at BIPA, told Nampa IP is not one-size-fits-all, therefore it is necessary for each country to make sure it adjusts the tools to fit its situation.
“There are many countries in the world with less minerals than Namibia, but their ideas are so protected that it benefits them more than countries rich with minerals. We need to do the same as a country,” he said.
The workshop is organised by the European Union Intellectual Property Network in collaboration with BIPA.