Monday, 10 November 2014

IP policies in Africa no. 39: Rwanda

Much has been written about Rwanda on Afro-IP (see here, here and here for recent examples). By all accounts, Rwanda's IP policy, 2009 (full text here) is impressive. One of these is Kaitlin Mara's IP Watch article, entitled "New Rwanda IP Policy Taps Information For Development" (available here). Having read the policy, this Leo is persuaded by the good reviews. However, one issue remains,  that is the big I - implementation.

The policy includes an implementation time frame which scheduled the completion of all specified activities by the end of 2011. For example, joining the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) by February 2010 is listed as an activity under the rubric of 'Facilitating access to IP-based essential goods and services especially in the health and food sectors.' Rwanda joined ARIPO in 2011 (see here) where developments pertaining to ARIPO's proposed PVP Law have attracted some criticism (see here and here for examples).

The national IP policy also provides for impact assessment and  periodic policy review. According to clause 7.5 of the policy the first impact assessment and review  had 'to be carried out two (2) years from the time of the launch of the Policy (2011). Thereafter the assessment and review should be carried out every four years with the third impact assessment and review timed to coincide with the end of Vision 2020'. This Leo was unable to find copies of these assessment and review reports. However, that is not to say that they were not done. The policy has not been updated since its adoption which would indicate that the assessment and reviews have not indicated that any changes are required. 

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