World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated annually on 26 April. Intellectual property (IP) is a vital part of Uganda’s creative and innovative ecosystems, especially for individual creators, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
To raise awareness of IP’s vital role, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) as the national IP body held engagements including an exhibition for women in business. Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, Senior Presidential Advisor was the keynote speaker.
The World Intellectual Property Day 2023 events were held under the theme, ‘Women and IP: Accelerating Innovation and Creativity,’ celebrating the “can do” attitude of women inventors, creators, and entrepreneurs across Uganda and their ground-breaking work. The function of intellectual property (IP) rights is to stimulate innovation and creativity across the various civilizations.
Other high profile speakers at the event included the Minister of Justice & Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Norbert Mao, URSB Board Chairman, Ambassador Francis Butagira and Registrar General, Mercy K. Kainobwisho.
Speaking to the women, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde said IP offers potential to the younger generation, especially women to focus on transitioning to a more suitable future using creativity.
“To consolidate the efforts made by government to empower women, there is need for our women to be directly involved in creative and innovative activities. I am convinced that this is possible and attainable” She said.
Hon. Norbert Mao, added that the Ministry of Justice passed the National Intellectual Property Policy 2019 to guide Uganda’s aspiration to utilize IP for socio-economic transformation. “Celebration of IP encourages the development and enforcement of IP laws and regulations that ensure that individuals and businesses are able to protect their ideas and artistic works”
Mercy Kainobwisho on her part said this year’s world IP day celebrations would help raise critical public awareness on the role of IP systems while advocating for more women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs to add value to the technologies, brands and creative works they develop.
“Our role as URSB to support you protect, promote and commercialise your inventions. When women lose out on IP, we all lose out” Kainobwisho added.
The IP day exhibition at the Uganda Business Facilitation Centre provided an opportunity to highlight the stories of a few of the women who rely on IP rights to accelerate innovation and creativity in addition to providing first-hand accounts of how IP enables and benefits them creators, innovators, and society alike.
Women in Uganda continue to shape the business and creative field through their imagination, ingenuity and hard work, but often face significant challenges in accessing the knowledge, skills, resources and support they need to thrive, a role URSB is pledging to support.