WIPO Conference Discusses Intellectual Property Policies in Africa

13 March 2013: African Ministers for science and technology from approximately 20 countries, along with researchers and entrepreneurs, attended the "African Conference on the Strategic Importance of Intellectual Property Policies to Foster Innovation, Value Creation and Competitiveness" to discuss how developing countries can boost their national innovation strategies and address key global challenges such as health, food security and climate change.

Organized by the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Japan Patent Office, the two-day conference was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on 12-13 March 2013, in cooperation with the Government of Tanzania. At the opening ceremony, Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzanian President, stated that “Intellectual property (IP) issues should be regarded as development issues." Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General, noted that "Investment in knowledge creation, and the maintenance of a robust and balanced IP system, should feature prominently in any strategy to ensure sustainable economic growth."

Delegates discussed the use of: existing knowledge and information to promote innovation and technology transfer, combined with appropriate innovation research training, tools and techniques to promote solutions for policy challenges; and the IP systems to foster innovation in Africa and key common elements of effective IP innovation policies.

The event builds on recent initiatives from WIPO, which enlarged its Global Brand Database, making available 10.9 million national data records from collections from Algeria, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Estonia, Morocco, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the US. This action is part of the UN's collective efforts to expand IP knowledge-sharing. [WIPO Press Release] [UN Press Release] [Conference Webpage] [Conference Agenda] [Global Brand Database]