Monday 2 December 2013

Caroline B Ncube

IP policies in Africa - no 4 Botswana - Update

Botswana seems to be well on its way to developing a national IP policy. Fellow blogger, Isaac, recently sent this Leo a document entitled National Intellectual Property Development Plan for the Republic of Botswana (2012) written by Prof. Francis Matambalya, of the Nordic Africa Institute and Mrs. Rose Mboya of the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute. The document was commissioned by WIPO (see here and here) but is not available on its website. However, one of its authors has listed it here.

The document consists of a report of an IP Audit for Botswana and a strategy road-map for the development of a national IP policy. The road-map identifies and lists key projects that have to be implemented but does not state specific dates for their completion , it is thus not possible to predict when a policy will be in place.

The authors do not presume to tell Botswana what to include in the IP policy but give a lot of sound recommendations as to how it should be formulated and what its aims ought to be. They write:

  • ' it is essential to recap that, while essentially everyone in a society is a user of IP; equally almost everyone in society is a potential creator of IP' (p16 Executive Summary); 
  • 'the process of designing a feasible NIPDP requires a broad-based consultative process involving all stakeholder groups: IP creators, IP law legislators, IP law enforcers, and users of products protected under IP law' (p4 main report ); and
  • 'Overall, the IP regulatory framework should create a win-win situation for the IP creators and IP users' (p24 main report). 

Only time will tell how this advice is taken on board and what the resultant IP policy will look like. This Leo awaits further developments with bated breath. 

Caroline B Ncube

Caroline B Ncube

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