Efforts to boost product and service innovation to give way for a private sector-led economy where creativity, that is securely protected, is a driving factor is paying off with the current strengthening of the intellectual property law.
The intellectual property law enacted in June this year is aimed at fighting piracy and counterfeiting of products and services which hinder economic development.
Emphasis in this law is put on registration of trademarks, industrial designs and copyrights.
Jean- Paul Hoebreck, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Director General at World Intellectual property organization (WIPO) said that the move would increase creativity to supply the private sector with new ideas and innovations to make the market more competitive hence economic growth.
“WIPO has enjoyed good cooperation with Rwanda as far as intellectual property law implementation is concerned”, he said, adding that such initiatives would boost skills development which are key to private
Through the registration of rights and trademarks, Hoebreck believes government is set to increase its revenue receipts as these products and services would be sold without competition from counterfeit
products which normally come at a cheap price.
But for this to work, “Rwanda needs to do a lot of publicity to let people understand the importance of intellectual property,” Hoebreck told Business Times yesterday.
Seth Kwizera, of the director of industrial development in the Ministry of Trade and Industry noted that the government is creating awareness among the artisans, industrialists and the business community on trademarks and industrial design registration, which he notes has yielded progress.
He said that industries and businesses will be able to supply quality products to the market without the fear that their trademarks and designs would be pirated which was the case prior to the implementation of the law.
“New graduates are not getting jobs when they leave university but have innovative ideas; so we believe this law will help them to bring out their ideas and be protected so they can earn income from
them,” Rajeev Aggarwal, director centre for innovations and technology Transfer of Kigali Institute Of Science and Technology-Kist explained.
Aggarwal said that promoting value addition through improved technology and skills will boost production especially in the agricultural sector, the backbone of the economy.
He said that that the centre is locally developing a cocoon drying machine, rice threshers, brick laying machines, tomato and pepper mincing machines as a way of providing the agro-processing industry with heap machinery to increase value addition and production.