Last Thursday, the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) celebrated World Intellectual Property Day at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
The celebrations were marked by an exhibition entitled Striking Idea; Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity. The exhibition was a culmination of a competition staged by ARIPO, with seven schools from all over Zimbabwe participating.
The exhibition was segmented into three categories; the four to seven year olds, 8-11 year olds and 12-16 year olds. The competition was seen as a way of harnessing pupils natural competitive drive by instilling a sense of invention, design and openness to collaboration. The underlying factor of the competition being a value additive knowledge to students that ideas must be trademarked, copyrighted or patented as they are derived from an individual’s intellect; that is, must belong to a person as a unique idea which had never been thought of.
The ideas generated by the students exhibiting were impressive; from vehicles to wearable technology, one would see that imagination is highly generated among the youth of Zimbabwe. The competition was easily interpretable to the participants as it was linked to the National Curriculum, in manner it presented itself in a way that pupils would think and create while having fun.
In his opening remarks, the ARIPO Director General, Mr Fernando Dos Santos stated that the main objective of the competition was to create intellectual property awareness, and this was done in schools that may have no access to information on that matter, a move which arguably creates greater enlightenment on the subject. Dos Santos further stated that children are capable of changing and developing an Intellectual Property Mentality globally, as their minds are open to new ideas. Mrs Doreen Sibanda of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe was agreeable in these statements as in her remarks she pointed out that Intellectual Property practice was crucial to the development of the creative industry’s practice. Prizes were distributed after the ceremony and there are plans to renew the competition in coming years, on a more expansive level.