African leaders scrutinize intellectual property rights to drive innovation

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-20 02:18:58|Editor: yan
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WINDHOEK, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Lucia Ipumbu, the deputy minister of industrialisation, trade and SME development in Namibia, said Monday that African states are committed to adopting regulatory frameworks to drive innovation and transition of the intellectual property ecosystem on the continent.

Ipumbu made the remarks while opening the 42nd African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) Administrative Council meeting currently underway in Windhoek.

ARIPO is an intergovernmental organisation that facilitates cooperation among member states in intellectual property matter with the aim of pooling financial and human resources.

This, the official said, would address challenges the continent faces related to intellectual property rights by its citizens.

According to Ipumbu, protecting intellectual property rights encourages innovative economies, and establishes the framework conducive for competitiveness.

"Proper intellectual property rights laws and enforcement laws, therefore, give businesses the incentive and resources to develop new products, production and create a workforce," she said.

Fernando dos Santos, director general of ARIPO, said that the council will deliberate on administrative aspects of ARIPO, including proposed budget activities for 2019 and recommend amendments to the various ARIPO treaties.

Furthermore, according to dos Santos, technical committees from 19 member states of ARIPO will review regulatory documents to drive innovation on the continent through intellectual property.

"We will consider a number of documents and provide guidance to the secretariat by giving input and take decisions on aspects related to the administration of the organisation. In addition, the Council will assess all documents for improvement and adoption. There will also be a validation workshop on a comparative study of Industrial Property Laws in ARIPO member states," he said.

A total of 19 member states of ARIPO are meeting in Windhoek this week for the Administrative Council of ARIPO from Nov. 19 to 23.