Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Africa's smallest country promotes IP

Joof
AllAfrica brings news of The Gambia's commitment to intellectual property protection following a road show initiative by ARIPO's Mr Dos Santos that is taking place over the next two years. .

Quoting from the article penned by Yunus Sailu:

"PS Momodou C. Joof was speaking recently at the opening ceremony of the National Roving Seminar on making better use of intellectual property for business competitiveness and development in Africa."

....
"Further in his remarks, the permanent secretary defined folklore as 'the literary, artistic and scientific work belonging to the cultural heritage of The Gambia, which are created, preserved and developed by ethnic communities of the country or by unidentified Gambian authors. Thus, he noted, the tangible and intangible aspects of Gambians folklore thus deserve protection.
"It is indeed obvious that what makes the tourist product unique are those aspects of cultural heritage which are distinctly Gambian; be they cuisine, costume, customs or carvings, or music and masquerades," he stated. "Our dances, songs, praise songs, traditional musical instruments, stories, legends and fables are other aspects of our folklore which make The Gambia a unique tourist attraction".
PS Joof informed that the NCAC, under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, has under its custody over 6, 000 audio and video recordings dating to five decades on various aspects of Gambian traditional songs, performances, genealogies, linguistics and similar folklore materials. He described these materials as invaluable assets of folklore, which the Swakupmond Protocol seeks to protect when it is ratified.""
The Gambia, known in IP circles for the naming of the Banjul Protocol and more recently for its withdrawal from the Commonwealth (denouncing neo colonialism), is clearly seeing IP as means of protecting one its major economic assets, tourism. And so it should, the British Monarchy, for example, uses IP to protect its own national heritage in much the same way.

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