Thursday, 2 May 2013

Report on Uganda’s World IP Day Fesitivities

Last week, Afro-Leo posted about the upcoming World IP Day Celebrations in Uganda.  Toady, we are pleased to have a guest post from in-person attendee and participant, Primah Kwagala of CEHURD, to report on the out come of Uganda’s celebratory week.

26th April 2013, for the first time the Uganda government recognised and celebrated world IP day under the theme Creativity the next generation: Tapping wealth from within.

Celebrations began on Monday 22nd/04/13 with a press briefing and a high-level policy forum to discuss technology transfer into Uganda. WIPO delegates who have been the co-sponsors of most of the festivities underpinned the need for Uganda to start thinking of a move to embrace new technologies in order to foster development in the country.

Day two was Tuesday 23rd/04/13 discussing Uganda's need for national IP policy. There were discussions of where we have come from in protecting IP and the future we envisage. There was a professor from Moi University (Prof. Ogada) to share Kenya's Experience. He mentioned that as a result of Kenya's development of an IP policy in 2004, there are 5 public universities with IP policies, 3 Research organizations have IP Policies, 3 Universities have technology transfer offices or companies, 3 Research Organizations have technology transfer offices; there is a Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, a National Commercialization Agency is envisaged, Innovation Funding has been put in place and that there are success commercialization stories . He concluded saying that Science, Technology and Innovation (STIs) can drive national development, however, it is important to formulate STI policies and strategies that respond to the development needs of a country, and that requires a changing paradigm in the way we manage our STI .

The third day, Wednesday 24th /04/2013 focused more on what is happening on a local scale, the laws in place, the Bills being discussed, patents & trademark already registered, partnerships with WIPO, challenges and weakness we need to address in managing our IP and discussions of the like...

What really challenged us as civil society was however the talk of "lets patent or perish” from innovators. There was hardly any talk of user's / consumers rights! There was more talk of enforcement of IP rights, establishment of a copyright enforcement body, curbing piracy, strengthening legal and administrators and less focus on a balance of rights for social welfare benefits to Ugandans.

Friday 26th/04/2013 was to crown all of the week’s activities. There was a march across Kampala’s central business district, an exhibition, and the chief-guest (A Judge - JUSTICE KAINAMURA) and an IP Clinic with advocates offering free legal advice. We [CEHURD] were in position to explain some of the human rights and access to medicines aspects of IP to the public, media, policy people and anybody who cared to pass-by our tent –positioned right next to the lawyers giving free legal advise.

CEHURD was also were able to create some media coverage and awareness for a balance of rights through a press statement that appeared in the daily Monitor Pg.33 of the print copies see and a Q&A that was also taken by the very same paper see

Thank you, Primah, for sharing your report with us.

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