Monday, 2 June 2014

IP policies in Africa no. 22: Ghana

African Tree Pangolin source
On her search for IP Policies across Africa, this Leo finds herself in Ghana. Recent unsuccessful forays across the continent had convinced this Leo that IP policies were as rare as pangolin sightings in Zimbabwe. Pangolins are seen so rarely there, that they are considered to be royal. When they are found they are captured and presented to local leaders and sometimes the President (see here and here) to the chagrin of wildlife conservationists and the ire of the police who regularly arrest people for pangolin trafficking.

It appears that with the initial  help of the US Commercial Law Development Program ( see report on setting up an inter-agency policy task force here)  followed up by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, Ghana has been working on an IP policy over the last few years (see Kingsley's post on the Swiss-Ghana IP Project here). A succinct overview of the developments pertaining to the IP policy formulation process is given by Diana Hopeson, a Ghanaian musician here. It appears that things have moved apace and a policy known as the National Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy (NIPPS) exists (see reports here  and here).Whether it is in draft or final form is less clear. The Swiss' State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) notes at p14 of its Swiss Economic Cooperation and Development Ghana Country Strategy Report 2013-2016  that "national intellectual property policy has been developed and related laws reviewed" (available here). However, the full text of the NIPPS document is not publicly available because (on some unofficial accounts) it is still in draft form.  

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