As the Ministry of Trade and Industry moves to reinforce the concept of Intellectual Property (IP) in Rwanda, it is optimistic that IP will win investors’ confidence hence attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Kaliza Karuretwa, the Director General at MINICOM is confident that once the sensitisation campaign is fully implemented, FDIs will increase as well as the general local business environment.
“As a government we have put in place a new, modern IP law as well as a policy that will encourage institutions to commercialize the results of their research,” said Karuretwa.
Karuretwa, who is also in charge of investment climate and intellectual property at the ministry, made the statement yesterday at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) during a two-day seminar on the awareness program on the role of patents and the patent cooperation treaty in promoting technology transfer in developing countries.
She added that the IP concept encourages universities, research institutions and industries to create a link among them to transfer knowledge.
The MINICOM official also noted that institutions are not commercialising their research findings while in other countries it is one of the biggest sources of funds for these institutions.
“The enactment of the IP laws has been a major factor in contributing to Rwanda’s ranking as the top global reformer by the World Bank in its Doing Business 2010 report.”
However, Rwanda was allotted the lowest ranking by the World Bank in terms of countries using technology to improve business; as compared to neighbouring countries like Uganda and Kenya.
In spite of substantial challenges hampering the development of Rwanda’s IP institutions, the country still faces significant challenges such as raising awareness about the importance of the IP concept, innovation as well as technology transfer.