Swaziland Roving Seminar held at UNISWA

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The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) Roving Seminar on Intellectual Property (IP) for Academic & Institutions is this month being held at the Kwaluseni Campus, University of Swaziland (UNISWA) from 28 to 29 August 2017.

The ARIPO Roving Seminars for 2017 theme has been “Fostering Creativity & Innovation for Economic Growth and Development in Africa.” In Swaziland, the Seminar has been co-organized with the Intellectual Property Office of Swaziland.

The Seminar kicked off with remarks from the Director of Swaziland Institute for Research in Traditional Medicine, Medicinal Food Plants (SIRMIP), Prof P.S. Dlamini. She set the tone by explaining in vernacular, the concepts of Intellectual Property to the delegates, some of whom were traditional medicine practitioners.

The ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos, explained to the gathering that directing the IP ‘gospel’ towards universities and research institutions was arrived at as this is where the generation of over 90% of knowledge is created.

Delegates at the Seminar were taken through the 'Principles and Concepts of Intellectual Property' by the ARIPO IP Development Executive, Mr Emmanuel Sackey.

Most of Universities and R &D Institutions in Africa do not have an IP unit or policy despite the high percentage of intellectual ideas being generated.

The Vice-Chancellor of UNISWA, Prof CM Magagula, expressed his profound gratitude to ARIPO for introducing IP at the opportune time to the university. He noted that the seminar marks the beginning of an establishment of an IP unit at the University.

Also in attendance was the ARIPO Head of Academy, Mr Outule Rapuleng, whose presentation delved into the acquisition of IP rights via national, regional and international routes. 

The guest of honor was the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Mr S. Nkambule, who was represented by the Registrar General of the national IP office of Swaziland, Mr Stephen Magagula. He also apprised the attendants on the IP landscape in Swaziland. His presentation, 'Intellectual Property Framework for Swaziland' was an update on how far the Kingdom of Swaziland was in regards to passing the leading related to IP laws and the challenges faced.

Over 120 delegates attended the seminar mostly from UNISWA, representation from the government as well as other stakeholders with links to research, innovation and traditional knowledge.