World Intellectual Property Day is fast approaching on the 26th of April, 2009. As we contemplate its importance in Africa, I have found it important to reproduce some of the remarks of the WIPO Director General below...
"On World IP Day 2009, the World Intellectual Property Organization highlights the contribution of a balanced intellectual property system to stimulating the creation, diffusion and application of clean technologies; to promoting green design, aimed at creating products that are eco-friendly from conception to disposal; to green branding, helping consumers make informed choices and giving companies a competitive edge.
The power of human ingenuity is our best hope for restoring the delicate balance between ourselves and our environment. It is our greatest asset in finding solutions to this global challenge, enabling us to move forward from the carbon-based, grey technologies of the past to the carbon-neutral, green innovation of the future."
Managing the pressure to industrialize is particularly important for Africa as the challenge for most countries in Sub Saharan Africa is to post high economic growth numbers at all costs! However, it must also be noted that some 'green' sources of energy such as bio-fuels have un-intended effects such as increase in food prices. Hopefully we will all make our individual efforts to ensure that our engagements strike a healthy balance between development and exploitation of IP in Africa.
Happy IP day!
Monday, 20 April 2009