Tuesday 17 October 2017


Ghana taking strides

Source: Wikipedia
News coming in from Ghana in the past few weeks is that of a country gearing up for modern day innovation and growth with a recognition for robust IP systems.

Airport Expansion
SITA is providing its world-class passenger and baggage processing technology as well as its airport management solutions to Ghana’s new Terminal 3 at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, helping cement the airport’s position as a vital regional hub.

The country’s aviation industry has witnessed significant growth over the past decade due to the discovery of petroleum and gas reserves, sustained domestic demand and the growth of the tourism sector.

When Terminal 3 opens at the end of 2017, it will have six contact stands and two remote stands for long-range aircraft, including Airbus A380s, A330s and Boeing 777s and 787s.

Hotel growth
Marriott International announced a few days ago (Marriott International continues extensive expansion into Africa) that its 160 room Le Meridien Accra, owned by 4-Mac Limited will be strategically located close to the international airport and is scheduled to open in 2021. The hotel marks the debut of Le Meridien brand into Ghana.

Online commerce and digital expansion
A new UN report reveals momentum for digital payments in Ghana could save over GHS 1 billion within next four years. With 37 percent of the value of all payments now made digitally, Ghana is on course to be a leader in the region, with great potential to expand economic opportunities for businesses. Read the full Ghana Diagnostic report here.

It is perhaps no co-incidence then that separate independent releases Ecobank and DHL relate to digital commerce services.

Ecobank just launched their mVisa cashless payment system across 33 African countries using smartphone technology. Ecobank have a presence in Ghana.

DHL Express then announced its partnership with MallforAfrica which will facilitate selling of made-in-Africa products to customers in the United States. Businesses can do so via the eBay platform powered by MallforAfrica. Through this partnership, DHL locations will serve as drop-off points for products destined for consumers in the United States. This will be the first time businesses in Africa can sell their locally manufactured products directly on eBay.

DHL Express currently handles inbound express delivery for MallforAfrica and has enabled its customers importing from the US to receive their packages seamlessly in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana.

But what about intellectual property and innovation …?
At the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa event, held in Ghana’s capital Accra, a high-level roundtable discussed how best to support the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs on the African continent.

The panel included speakers like Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, African Innovation Foundation (AIF) founder Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais and Yofi Grant, the CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

They highlighted four barriers according to the report:

1. Disconnect from the youth

2. Inharmonious business environment

3. Difficulties securing financing

4. A need for strong intellectual property protection

“…while Bethel [a member of both the AIF Board and UN committee of Experts in Public Administration] agreed the time-to-market approach [the focus on taking a product to market as a prerequisite over anything else including IP protection] may work in some countries, she expressed concern regarding the speed with which many foreign companies can replicate an idea, protect their IP rights and then market it globally.

“So I believe the two really must go hand in hand, I don’t see that the one necessarily dominates the other. And my advice would be to protect your intellectual property.”

See full report here.



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