Celebrating 10 years of the Masters in Intellectual Property Programme at Africa University
07 December 2017
Africa University together with key partners ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization) and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Masters in Intellectual Property Programme on Thursday the 7th of December 2017 at the ARIPO Headquarters in Harare. The event was attended by stakeholders, nongovernmental organizations, members of the business community and students. SIRDC (Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Center) Chief Executive Officer and Interim Vice Chancellor of the Pan African Minerals University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe (PAMUST), Professor Robson Mafoti, officiated as the Guest of Honor and Key Note Speaker.
In his key note address, Prof. Mafoti, a holder of over 120 patents, celebrated the success of the MIP Programme and encouraged innovation calling for the protection of brilliant ideas. He applauded the Government of Zimbabwe for embracing IP calling it a necessary progression for the country in a world that is now driven by innovation.
Also speaking at the event, the Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe His Excellency Ambassador Toshiyuki Iwado, whose government has a long history of extending meaningful support and forging strong bilateral ties with Africa and Zimbabwe in particular said of the importance and emergence of intellectual property (IP),
“IP systems can promote international trade and economic development. In other words, the protection of inventions and indigenous knowledge will be the basis for the global economy to develop. Sustainable economic development should take place without any risks of the copying or infringement of this valuable knowledge”, he went on to add, “The knowledge that students have gained at Africa University through this MIP programme is essential for Africa.”
The Japanese Government is one of the main donors of the MIP Programme ensuring that the best and brightest minds in IP are able to enroll for this important programme without any financial constraints. WIPO and Aripo also provide scholarship support to the programme.
Reflecting on the momentous achievements and milestones ARIPO Director General Mr. Fernando dos Santos said that the MIP Programme has developed IP leaders for Africa who are serving in various capacities across the continent. He said,
“Most of our graduates are currently engaged as resource persons on IP Awareness matters (47.2%) followed by those who are involved in lecturing or the teaching of IP (28.3%) in institutions of higher learning either on fulltime or part-time basis. Some have been writing/publishing articles on IP (15.1%) while others have been involved in the development of Institutional IP Policies (11.3%) as well as National IP Policies (13.2%). The MIP Programme boasts a 94% employment rate amongst our graduates.”
The MIP Programme was established in 2008 as a Training of Trainers Programme to create IP expertise in Africa, support IP teaching in Institutions of Higher Learning and promote IP Systems in Africa. To date, the programme has so far graduated over 250 students from the following 25 countries across Africa: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Story By: J. Dadzie
Edited by: Mrs .T. Kanonge