President Museveni has urged the member states of the Africa Regional Industrial Property Organisation (ARIPO) to embrace the protocol on voluntary registration, notification of copyright and related rights.
While officiating at the ARIPO conference on Friday, Museveni said that Africa has tremendous cultural and technological potential which can be greatly enhanced through copyright protection.
Museveni said a lot of our treasures like rich languages, songs, paintings among others which depict the complexity of the civilisation which existed in Africa before colonialism have been preserved.
“The globalisation of the world economy has made knowledge a critical element in attaining socio-economic transformation but the majority of African countries have not exploited the benefits that intellectual property rights offer to its users, despite considerable improvements to existing knowledge and options for protecting knowledge,” he noted.
According to the president, research into traditional medicine is particularly important in Africa in making good use of the naturally and richly endowed environment.
He noted that countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America use traditional medicine to help meet some of their primary health care needs.
“The age-old cures that kept our forefathers disease-free must be given enough attention so that we improve on them and preserve their use. One of our products, Covidex, has been tried among some Covid-19 patients and most of them have fully recovered,” he said.
While civilisation started in Africa, Museveni,said that the biggest problem was that it was never institutionalised and regulated and it remained an individual/tribe’s skill.
The African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) is an inter-governmental organisation
that facilitates cooperation among its member states on intellectual property matters, established by
the Lusaka Agreement on 9 December 1976.