By Tendai Guvamombe (Harare)
The Conference on Intellectual Property (IP), Innovation and Value Addition for Business Competiveness and Sustainable Development in Africa kicked off in the capital this Wednesday.
The three day conference is being hosted by three major organizations which include World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), African Regional Intellectual Property Organization and African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) with the support from the Japan patent office and the Government of Zimbabwe.
The conference comes at the back of tripartite agreement signed between WIPO,ARIPO and OAPI in 2018 which is expected to spearhead regional cooperation for sustainable development in Africa.
In a speech Fernandes Do Sandos ARIPO Director General reiterated that his organization will closely work with WIPO, OAPI and other relevant partners to support innovation in Africa adding that the conference is expected to unpack various issues relevant to spearhead competition through innovation at global level.
“ARIPO pledges to continue engaging WIPO,OAPI and other partners to support innovators and creators to improve African ecosystem for innovative and creative enterprises.”
“ Innovation has become key to unlock doors for future economic development in the globe therefore this conference is expected to pay attention to these issues and develop appropriate strategies to enable our SMEs,Universities,research and development institutions to embeds innovation to enhance competitiveness at domestic and international level.”
Honorable Ziyambi Ziyambi Minister of Justice,Legal and Parliamentary Affairs delivering opening remarks complimented WIPO for walking the talk in implementing 45 recommendations of its development agenda in bringing innovation, competition and placing Africa on the Global platform.
“We applaud WIPO for taking this step in its continued effort to implement the 45 recommendations of WIPO development agenda, an initiative aimed at balancing approach of IP that is more supportive of innovativeness and competition.”
“This conference provides an excellent platform for for African countries to map the way forward on the dynamics of setting the continent on global competition interms of innovation.”
Bright Masaka Malawa’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and ARIPO Chairman said the conference resonates with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 9 which anchors on recognizing significance of innovation in driving sustainable development.
“The United Nations SDG 9 recognizes the role of innovation in driving sustainable development. Achieving SDG 9 is considered critical to the attainment of other SDGs.”
“ The imperative for innovation therefore underpins the need for increased attention to the role of intellectual property system for stimulating innovation and value addition for business competitiveness on our continent.”