Ismail Musa Ladu
The creative industry, if well harnessed can solve the unemployment question which is a ticking bomb waiting to explode across the 20 African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) member states.
Signs of the impending detonation are already clear on the wall in several ARIPO member countries.
But with the 11th Extraordinary Session of the ARIPO Administrative Council, which is a precursor to the Council of Ministers’ meeting that will adopt a protocol for the voluntary registration of copyright and related rights through an August 27-28 conference, there is a chance that a breakthrough to the unemployment challenge might have been found.
“We have an opportunity through this protocol to address some of the contemporary challenges we face in our countries including youth unemployment, low incomes for our artists and inability to exploit the export market for our cultural products,” the Director-General of ARIPO, Bemanya Twebaze, said August 23 in his remarks at the opening of the Administrative Council.
ARIPO, established to promote harmonisation and development of intellectual property laws, currently administers four protocols; including the Harare Protocol on Patents and Industrial designs; the Banjul Protocol on Trademarks, the Swakopmund Protocol on Traditional Knowledge and Folklore; and the Arusha Protocol on Plant Varieties.The Draft Protocol on Copyright and Related Rights will become the fifth to be administered by ARIPO, and more critically will close the gap in terms of a regional mechanism for administration of copyright. It will be the first of its kind in Africa. – Daily Monitor