Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe will host a three-day conference on Intellectual Property Innovation and Value Addition for Business Competitiveness and Sustainable Development in Africa starting tomorrow. The conference will be attended by academics, researchers and professionals.
Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabiza told journalists in Harare yesterday that the country is hosting the event for the first time.
“Zimbabwe has the privilege of hosting a magnificent conference on Intellectual Property Innovation and Value Addition for Business Competitiveness and Sustainable Development in Africa for the first time. The speakers will be drawn from different countries and professions,” said Mrs Mabiza.
“The objective of the conference is to bring together participants from different sectors to discuss opportunities and challenges facing African countries in building a vibrant innovation system and the effective use of Intellectual Property by academic, research organisations and small to medium enterprises in the fourth industrial revolution. It aims to promote generation, protection and commercialisation of intellectual property assets by SMEs, the academia and research organisations.”
She said the hosting of the conference was consistent with Zimbabwe’s education model that sought to link with the production of goods and services.
“As Zimbabwe, we are looking forward to this conference for it encourages a pro-intellectual property attitude which will help in building intellectual property respect in all spheres of business and research,” said Mrs Mabiza.
“We hope this conference will provide an ideal platform for sharing views and ideas as well as improving the understanding of the importance of intellectual property for sustainable development.
“The conference is in tandem with the Government’s education model 5.0, a model which seeks to promote production of goods and services and value creation at learning institutions.”
Some of the organisers include World Intellectual Property Organisation in collaboration with African Regional Intellectual Organisation, Government of Zimbabwe and the Japan Patents Office.
She said the conference will be broken into two clusters namely universities and SMEs.
The first cluster would see participants examining intellectual property training particularly in universities, in so far as how they provide the required intellectual property professionals and enhance awareness creation within universities and financing of research and development.
The second cluster would see participants examining intellectual properties and innovation management practices in SMEs with particular emphasis on case studies covering the entire spectrum of the intellectual property system.
Mrs Mabiza said they will also discuss the role of Public Private Partnership and their contribution in addressing Africa’s challenges.