Ghana develops first National Intellectual Property Policy
Government of Ghana has developed the nation’s first National Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy (NIPPS) document to strengthen the management of the Intellectual Property (IP) system in the country and also to encourage innovation and creativity within the system.
The NIPPS is driven by the country’s trade policy prescription, which aims to bring Ghana’s IP regime in line with its international commitment under the World Trade Organisation on the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, announced this in a speech read for her by Nii Ansag-Adjei, Chief Director of the Ministry, at the opening session of a two-day NIPPS Stakeholders’ Review workshop in Accra on Wednesday.
The NIPPS will cover all key elements of an intellectual property system including protection, administration and management, enforcement, generation and commercialisation of IP systems.
She said government recognised IP rights as a powerful catalyst in fostering the growth and development of the national economies.
Ms Tetteh noted that in pursuance of this recognition, government had put in place strong systems for the promotion of IP rights.
“Ghana recognises that innovation, the creation and acquisition of IP rights are central to economic growth, that is why Ghana is committed to the realisation of the Swiss-Ghana IP,” she added.
The Sector Minister explained that the IP landscape of the country was set to change when the five revised IP laws including trademarks, industrial designs, patents, geographical indications and plant varieties were passed by Parliament and approved by Cabinet.
She expressed the hope that with the NIPPS been put in place as a regulatory framework and the necessary awareness created, it would serve as a tool to add value to one’s creativity and ingenuity.
Mrs Agatha Quayson, Representative of Switzerland Embassy in Ghana, said the Embassy decided to support Ghana among other Africa countries because intellectual property issues were important to the development of an economy.
She said Switzerland had benefited from a well-established IP regime hence the commitment to the IP programme in Ghana.
Mrs Quayson expressed the hope that government would give priority to the approval of the NIPPS for the country to maximise the benefits from active IP regime.
Professor Tom Peter Migun Ogada, a World Intellectual Property Policy expert, congratulated the Government for the bold decision to develop the IP policy.
He said many countries in Africa were still struggling to develop the policy and urged stakeholders to embrace the ideas in the strategy.