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Mnangagwa challenges Aripo on globalisation

by Staff reporter
12 Dec 2021 at 19:12hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has challenged the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (Aripo) to develop measures that mitigate risks associated with globalisation.

Officially opening the 18th session of the council of ministers of Aripo in Victoria Falls yesterday, Mnangagwa said intellectual property was a critical driver of trade and socio-economic development for every nation, hence it should be promoted.

"Aripo is challenged to develop measures that mitigate the risks associated with a globalised world, connected digital landscape and the fourth industrial revolution. As African leaders at various levels, we have the sacred obligation to be more assertive in protecting our unique creativity, innovations and rich heritage," he said.

"The forum must, therefore, be used to sharpen the collective focus with regards intellectual property so that our people, especially the youth, effectively grow and transform our economies."

He added that the present threats of a global pandemic and climate change-related challenges demanded that Africa develops new capabilities and asserts its intellectual property rights over the same.

"As African policymakers, we have a duty to make intellectual property accelerate the growth of our economies.

The benefits of intellectual property must be accessible to ordinary entrepreneurs and communities as they innovate around our current realities, leveraging on the abundant and unique natural resource endowment of Africa," he said.

Mnangagwa said intellectual property also drove economic growth and competitiveness through encouraging innovation, while at the same time protecting consumers by ensuring the purchase of secure and assured goods.

In order to strike a balance between the interests of innovation and the wider public interest, Mnangagwa said organisations such as Aripo should promote and protect intellectual property by enhancing co-operation among member States as well as international intellectual property organisations.

He said through Aripo, the African continent should create an enabling intellectual environment to bridge the socio-economic divide that exists between the continent and the rest of the developed world.

The President said the present generation of African leaders was determined to ensure that Africa plays its part and seize opportunities emanating from the advent of the fourth industrial revolution.

"This entails that we be better prepared to leapfrog and compete with developed jurisdictions.

"To this end, it is imperative that we build eco-systems and structures that fully support creativity and innovation in our schools, institutions of higher learning, industry and within communities in general," he said.

"This is more urgent given that today's dynamic world depends not only on the traditional factors of production such as land, labour and capital, but also on science, technical knowhow, innovation and business skills, among other considerations," Mnangagwa said.

Aripo is Africa's leading intellectual property hub that fosters creativity and innovation for economic growth and development in Africa.

Zimbabwe is hosting Aripo's 45th session of the administrative council and the 18th session of the council of ministers.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe