Youth educated about intellectual property

Raising awareness
BIPA celebrates World Intellectual Property Day with youth and launches competition
Michelline Nawatises
The Business Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) celebrated World Intellectual Property (IP) day by hosting an informative event on 29 April at the Walvis Bay Office.

This event was aimed at creating awareness and informing the youth about the real meaning and purpose of Intellectual Property.

The acting CEO of BIPA Raphael Likando said that in 2000, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) designated 26 April of each year to mark World Intellectual Property Day to increase public understanding and awareness of Intellectual Property. "Ever since then, World IP day has been serving as a platform where all global innovation stakeholders in unity deliberate on how innovations help the world better. Each year WIPO promotes a general theme under which IP day is remembered and is up to individual member states to decide how best they use the occasion to use meet the set objectives to promote and enhance a thriving environment of creativity."

Likando added that with the mandate to administer business registration and IP developments in Namibia, it remains BIPA's responsibility to ensure Namibia joins the rest of the world to celebrate World IP Day and drive awareness of the value that IP holds on the society and the impact is well understood and managed that it may have.

This year the World IP Day theme focus is on IP and youth innovating for a better future. Across the globe, young people are stepping out to innovation challenges needing their energy and their curiosity to steer towards what’s a better future. The theme helps to explore how these energetic and creative minds are driven towards a positive change.

Councillor Richard Hoaeb delivered a speech on behalf of the Mayor of Walvis Bay, Trevino Forbes. He mentioned how the Erongo region is fortunate to have been in a position to experience how the ideas and inventions that stepped from innovation and creativity across all sectors have been beneficial to the economic well-being.

The coastal region has been earmarked to become the leading industrial town in Namibia due to its strategic location, world-class sports facilities and transport. “I am excited about the inclusion of the youth as a contributor to economic growth and a driver of solving future societal challenges. This coincides with the office's current focus on the development of the youth in the region and the promotion of technical and vocational education and training as a priority.'

Hoaeb added that by continuing to create and support initiatives such as observing and celebrating world IP day that propels creativity and innovation, Namibia is on the right path towards a transformed and sustainable economy. “There is still a lack of knowledge about how intellectual property rights can help translate the ideas of youth into products and services and how the protection of it can become powerful for them not to just survive but to also compete and grow.”

Sakeus Kapenda, the deputy director of trade promotions at the ministry of Industrialisation and Trade delivered a speech on behalf of the minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu who said that IP serves as an effective policy tool to unlock local creativity innovation and entrepreneurship and to stimulate the transfer and use of ideas that encourage development and economic growth. “We aim to improve the landscape for entrepreneurship and innovation in a manner that will allow for the commercial relation of IP rights to significantly contribute to the economists GDP.”

Competition

BIPA launched a competition related to IP for the youth which will run from 1 – 31 July and consist of three categories. The first category are for the grade 5-9 learners. They have to design a business idea and logo. The second category are for the grade 10 and 12’s. They will be required to compose a song and the third category requires particpants to invent a tool or a programme that will solve a societal issue.