I had the pleasure of joining my colleague, Mr. Said Ramahdan (Senior Examiner, African Regional Intellectual Property Organization, (ARIPO) to lecture the first cohort of Masters in Intellectual Property at KNUST.
My colleague and I taught a module on the program from 24-28 September 2018. The module MIP555, is on the topic: Industrial Property (Patents, Utility Module and Innovation, and Industrial Designs)
The 1-week lectures was entirely informative, thought provoking and heartwarming to see such young intellectuals from countries in Africa i.e. Ghana, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, with undiluted focus and interest in the subject.
I commend ARIPO, WIPO, KNUST and the Registrar General’s Department for introducing the program in Ghana. I also thank the students for their immense contributions in class. To a special person, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure this happened, Mr. Sylvanus Tetteh- Tamakloe (Immediate past Ghana Ambassador to Zimbabwe), we recognize your contribution and thank you sincerely.
I have followed conversations regarding Industrial Property and Innovations for over a decade, and I believe that the introduction of the Masters program in the subject is the ultimate achievement in Ghana. However, I still believe that there’s more work to be done to educate various sectors including Industry, Researchers, Academia and the general public on matters of intellectual property. It is my hope that the products of this MIP program would serve as a catalyst for nationwide sensitization and in Africa as a whole. Personally, I am a product of MIP, Mutare, Zimbabwe and I can confidently say it has been a feather in my cup.
During our program at KNUST, our students were very analytical and creative, contributing meaningfully during discussions in class. In fact, they developed a comprehensive proposal for the amendment of Ghana’s current patent Act, with practical input and perspectives from Industry/Investors; Researchers/Creators/Inventors/Innovators; and from Government/policymakers/policy implementers.
Permit me to share some of their views with you in the coming weeks with the hope that it would trigger some discussions on the subject, and with the eventual hope of contributing to the improvement of the current IP systems in Africa and Ghana in particular.
Let me conclude by recognizing that with the current trend of countries inching towards knowledge based economies, Africa can no longer remain partially ignorant of intellectual property rights. That to me is throwing away a chunk of our already “scarce” assets.