The Registrar-General's Department, Ministry of Justice - Ghana, in collaboration with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation in Africa (AfrIPI), hosted a groundbreaking workshop aimed at fostering innovation and raising awareness of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in the ARIPO Member States. The workshop took place from October 3rd to 5th, 2023, at the Fiesta Royale Hotel in Accra, Ghana, and sought to empower universities, R&D institutions, and Macro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in leveraging IPRs to drive technological advancement and sustainable development.
Under the theme "The use of IP rights to foster innovation within ARIPO Member States," this workshop highlighted the role of IPR, including patents, industrial designs, and utility models, in promoting innovation and economic growth. The workshop also illuminated the changing role of universities, innovation hubs and R&D institutions in utilising information to foster innovation to promote economic growth.
According to the Director General of ARIPO, Mr. Bemanya Twebaze, the event "aimed to raise awareness about the significance of Intellectual Property, particularly how it fuels the technological innovations that drive human progress and the creative arts sector that enriches our lives. By tapping into what we as humans need at an individual level, exploring the shifting values within our communities, and investigating existing barriers, we can then understand the drivers of innovation growth in our context."
The workshop's program covered various topics, including an overview of ARIPO and AfrIPI, Intellectual Property Rights Principles and Concepts, The Role of IP Offices in Promoting Innovation, the Use of Intellectual Property Rights for Business Growth and Competitiveness by MSMEs in Africa, and success stories among other topics.
Ms. Aida Galindo, Project Leader of AfrIPI, expressed her enthusiasm during the workshop, stating, "We are delighted to collaborate with the Registrar-General's Department, Ministry of Justice Ghana and ARIPO, in organising this workshop. We aim to promote innovation-driven growth in the region. The workshop will provide valuable insights into the practical applications of IPRs and their role in fostering technological advancement and boosting the income-generation capacities of businesses, including MSMEs."
The workshop brought together participants from different ARIPO Member States, universities, technical institutions, MSMEs, and Registrar-General's Department of Ghana representatives. Notable attendees included H.E. Mr Irchad Ramiandrasoa Razaaly, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Ghana; Hon. Godfred Yeboah Dame, Ghana's Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, and Mrs Grace Ama Issahaque, Registrar-General of the Ministry of Justice, Ghana.