African Ministers discuss Innovation and IP at WIPO ConferenceListen /
Proper use of intellectual property can contribute to economic development and the eradication of poverty in African countries.
That's what Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete told a two-day conference in Dar es Salaam called to discuss the role of intellectual property in stimulating innovation and development.
President Kikwete said "IP policies should be integrated with development policies." He appealed to development partners "to explore the possibilities of increasing support to African countries in IP issues." The president stressed "IP issues should be regarded as development issues", adding that "They should not be dealt with in isolation".
World Intellectual Property Organization –WIPO Director-General Francis Curry said
"Africa has a great tradition of innovation and creativity," adding that "innovation is a central driver of economic growth, development and better jobs. It is the key for firms to compete successfully in the global marketplace."
The conference, organized by WIPO and the Japan Patent Office in cooperation with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, is also addressing the importance of innovation in dealing with some of today's most pressing global challenges, such as public health, food security and climate change.
Some twenty African ministers, senior policy makers and enterpreneurs are attending.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.