[A2k] Effective intellectual property policies on drawing board - African Conference on Strategic Importance of IP Policies

Teresa Hackett teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Wed Mar 13 10:44:54 PDT 2013

>From the Guardian (Tanzania): Effective intellectual property policies
on drawing board-JK: http://www.ippmedia.com/

By Sylivester Domasa

13th March 2013

President Jakaya Kikwete opens African Conference on the Strategic
Importance of Intellectual Property Policies to Foster Innovation,
Value Creation and Competitiveness in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Tanzania plans to put in place effective intellectual property (IP)
policies and related laws to promote socio-economic growth and
development of the nation.

This was revealed in Dar es Salaam yesterday by President Jakaya
Kikwete at the opening of a two-day African Conference on the
Strategic Importance of Intellectual Property Policies to Foster
Innovation, Value Creation and Competitiveness.

The conference was organised by the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) and the Japan Patent Office in cooperation with
the Ministry of Industry and Trade. It brought together over twenty
ministers, experts and senior government representatives from various
African countries.

The President said the country has already formulated its National IP
Strategy and that the government is now in the process of formulating
the IP policy.

“…once the IP policy is in place and fully implemented, it will assist
producers of industrial and agricultural products to compete
effectively in the local, regional and global market place…,” said the
President and explained that the global market requires service and
product manufacturers to adhere to the international standards of
quality that the policy will secure.

Elaborating, he made clear that when products are identified with
trademarks they are distinguish from similar products of competitors,
allowing customers to differentiate them and select according to
individual preference. This invites competitiveness that in turn
increases quality accountability, he added.

President Kikwete asserted that the appropriate IP policies and laws
coupled with an effective education system, availability of financial
resources to pursue technological development and the presence of a
network of supporting institutions and legal structures will deliver
the desired results and benefits.

That being the case, it is the presidents well informed opinion that
leveraging and protecting intellectual property such as patents,
copyrights and other similar forms of product identification is a key
factor to promoting socio-economic growth and development of nations.

According to him, IP encourages innovation, invention and development
of new technologies. It promotes both domestic and foreign investment,
facilitates technology transfer and increases agricultural and
industrial production.

At which point the President discredited arguments that IP can somehow
 limit technology transfer as it would limit the type and amount that
is allowed into the country as well as raising prices because of the
extra cost of standardising the products. “…from the developed
countries we observe the dynamics of IP and their inevitable drive of
national development in the global arena… many developing countries
are increasingly becoming aware of its importance…,” and with that,
the president urged other attending member states to increase steps
towards embracing, anchoring and nurturing of IP.

He called on the international community to go beyond IP policies and
to rather support and embrace related matters and sectors to integrate
the IP policies with development policies.

In line with the President’s vision, the University of Dar es Salaam
in collaboration with Business Registration and Licensing Agency
(BRELA) and the African Regional Industrial Property Organisation
(ARIPO) are soon expected to sign a pact to co-launch a master’s
degree programme in IP.

Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO seconding the President’s view
asserted that the adaptation of IP will help the society manage
various challenges such as shortage of food through innovative
strategies to increase agricultural productivity.

“…IP is an indispensable part of a healthy system that captures the
value of innovation…,” he said.

Alberic Kacou, UN Resident Coordinator for Tanzania had the following
to say over the issue:

 “…in the context of Tanzania, IP is especially relevant to Small and
Medium Enterprises (SMEs) growth and they are the backbone of

 “…market stability for the SMEs depends on competitiveness…this can
be achieved if and when SMEs effectively adopt intellectual
property…,” he concluded

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