|Mr. Doni-Kwame. Source: here|
Last June, fellow Leo, Caroline Ncube, reported that Ghana is one of those few African countries with an intellectual property (IP) policy - be it in draft or not. Today, this Leo has picked up the news that Ghana's Ministry of Trade and Industry will hopefully approve the draft IP policy, soon.
GhanaWeb reports Mr. Emmanuel Doni-Kwame saying: "...the draft Intellectual Property policy is ready and the Ministry of Trade and Industry will soon launch it so it becomes official. This will harmonise all I.P laws in the country..."
This assurance apparently came to light on the day the Ghana Employers' Association (GEA) complained that piracy and counterfeiting are stifling the country's local manufacturing sector and quest to develop a knowledge-based economy. The textile and pharmaceutical sectors are of most concern to the GEA. This Leo also understands that the IP policy, if implemented, will support IP rights owners with enforcement.
Great news! If Ghana can deliver on its IP reforms, then other West African countries might consider following suit. We hope that the policy - which this Leo couldn't find online - will also address the development or needs of Ghana's IP registry. Afro Leo finds it strange that there is a nice website (and perhaps, office) for copyright, but there isn't online evidence to demonstrate the same love for copyright's siblings. Whether this is due to the existence of ARIPO's capacity is anyone's guess.