A Master’s Degree programme in Intellectual Property (MIP) to be offered jointly by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) with the support from World Intellectual Property Organization has been duly launched. KNUST and ARIPO signed a Memorandum of Understanding to commence the running of the programme in the 2018/19 academic year.
Present at the launch was Mrs. Jemima Oware, a representative from the Attorney General’s office in Ghana. In her remarks, she stated that, the MIP programme is a response to the needs of ARIPO member states to provide education and training solutions to improve the way Intellectual Property is used to impact positively on national development.
Mrs. Oware said the MIP came at a crucial period when the Global Innovation Index Report reflects that innovation is central to economic growth and creation of new and better jobs. She added that the Innovation Index Report indicates that countries that continue to embrace innovation as a way of overcoming challenges are leaders in technological development. In line with the global trends, she said, Ghana recognises Intellectual Property as one of the tools to use in order to add value to products and encourage competitiveness for industries and firms.
In her concluding remarks, she promised the government’s commitment to developing an enabling environment for industrialisation for the benefit of all. She expressed hope and trust that the programme will enable students keep pace with technological trends and be responsive to emerging concerns by generating new IP knowledge that responds to challenges and current debate that border on genetic engineering, climate change, precision agriculture, adaptive and mitigating green technology and management of digital concerns.
Mr. Fernando dos Santos, Director General, ARIPO, expressed gratitude to His Excellency Sylvanus Tetteh-Tamakloe, former Ambassador to Zimbabwe, for the role he played in bringing MIP to KNUST. According to Mr. Santos, MIP is the second that ARIPO has launched in Africa. The first, he said was launched in 2008 at the Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe.
The MIP he stated, is a two (2 year) MPhil programme with one-year taught course and another year to research into IP. He revealed that ARIPO has provided 10 scholarships to pioneers of the programme and will also provide lecturers for the programme. He finally urged the University, the Government of Ghana and Stakeholders to provide the technical and financial assistance to help increase the intake of students in future.
Honourable Samuel Tembenu, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Malawi expressed the need to focus on building and strengthening capacities to innovate and generate IP so that African countries can also compete in the knowledge economy and also stand against theft of IP. He urged the first cohort of students to make full use of the opportunity to acquire knowledge in IP that will equip them to play a significant role in building capacities to generate IP.
Prof. Obiri Danso, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST expressed his gratitude to ARIPO and promised that KNUST would honour its part of the agreement to make the running of the programme successful. He hoped that KNUST would increase the number of MIP students in the future as well as run the course at the other campuses of KNUST.
Officials of KNUST and ARIPO in a Group Photograph after signing the MoU