GABORONE, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Tuesday held a three-day regional seminar here aiming to deepen African people's understanding of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system.
Shingo Tsuda, representative of Japan Patent Office, said the seminar was sponsored by the government of Japan through WIPO Japan Funds-in-Trust.
WIPO and Japan started the Funds-in-Trust for Africa in 2008 and the two sides have been working together to assist African countries in areas such as training of Intellectual Property (IP) office personnel, digitization of IP application files, branding of local products and support for small to medium enterprises as well as startups to promote innovation in Africa.
Tsuda said that Africa has diverse needs which could be seen as a strength. "Connecting the diverse needs with technology will lead to innovation creation, crucial for the autonomous and sustainable economic development of African countries."
Paul Masena, registrar general of Botswana's Companies and Intellectual Property Authority, said a lot of things need to be done to create awareness on how IP can be used to secure the economic value of products created in the country.
"IP is undeniably the foundation upon which Botswana will succeed in building the much-needed knowledge-based economy as espoused in the national vision," Masena said.
Botswana acceded to WIPO's PCT in 2003.