Ghana hosts Intellectual Right Confab
By Bernice Bessey
The Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ebow Barton-Odro, has called on African countries to come together to nurture the innovative and creative potential of its people to eradicate poverty from the continent.
This, he noted, would help improve the lives of Africans, because it would serve as a drive for the people to build individual prosperous lives that would go long way to impact positively on society at large.
According to him, the role that intellectual property plays in the development of society cannot be overestimated, hence, the need to put in effective measures that would protect it.
It is for this reason that the government of Ghana has initiated reforms at strengthening the infrastructure for the promotion of an effective intellectual property system, through the modernisation of intellectual offices, he stated.
Barton-Odro was speaking at the 35th Africa Right Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), which was hosted by Ghana in Accra, on Monday.
The event was aimed at creating the platform for members to take stock of achievements and weaknesses, share experiences and develop an Intellectual Property (IP) system, at both the national and regional levels.
He added that all IP laws, which were Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) have been reviewed to ensure that they fully reflect all the flexibilities under the TRIPS agreement.
“It is in this regard that a national intellectual property policy committee has been set up to draft a nation IP policy, which would set out the vision of government in intellectual property for the next decade,” he added.
To make Intellectual Property more protective in the country, a bill has been presented before Parliament to be passed into law, and “this will ensure that we have an institution that is progressive, and serves the needs of member states,” he said.
He observed that the ability to generate ideas, innovation and create artifacts was inherent in every human being, and it was important for member countries to do all they could to protect it, saying, “It is common knowledge that issues of property continue to become increasingly topical in the global world.”
He ended by saying: “The protection of traditional knowledge, preservation of our biodiversity and ecosystems, and patenting of life forms must not only be addressed at the regional level, but we must collectively continue to engage in the international debate to seek for international legal instruments to protect our rich culture and heritage.”
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