Senegal is set to host the 2015 Africa Ministerial Conference to be held in the country’s Capital Dakar from November 3, to November 5, 2015.
The three day meeting is expected to bring together 60 government ministers, heads of state from the African continent, senior officials from the United Nations, African Union and private sector groups.
The meeting seeks to discuss, among other issues, strategies to improve economic and social development on Africa through boosting the uptake of intellectual property tools.
During the event, participants will discuss the relevance of IP in promoting innovation and scientific and technological transformation of African economies. It will also show how IP can contribute to the realization of the priorities identified in the Common African Position (CAP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda as well as provide an arena for discussion on the role of IP for innovation and creativity in the continent.
Other key areas that the conference aims to address are: the role of governments in creating an enabling environment for the use of IP and innovation for development, the importance of the strategic use of the IP system as an engine for scientific and technological transformation, economic and social development and poverty reduction for Africa.
After the conference, it is hoped that governments will put in place IP policies and innovation strategies aimed at building the countries’ capacity to apply science, technology and innovation for development.
The meeting themed “African Ministerial Conference 2015: Intellectual Property (IP) for an Emerging Africa” will be attended by key officials as: His Excellency Macky Sall, President of Senegal, His Excellency Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius; World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Francis Gurry and other senior United Nations officials; African Union (AU) Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and other regional officials.
The conference will be preceded on November 2 by a workshop grouping young African innovators and creators to talk about IP, innovation and creativity. Speaking ahead of the event, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said: “Africa has a great tradition of innovation and creativity, and innovation is a central driver of economic growth, development and better jobs. It is the key for firms to compete successfully in the global marketplace.”
Gurry reiterated that Intellectual property is an indispensable mechanism for translating knowledge into commercial assets. “IP rights create a secure environment for investment in innovation and provide a legal framework for trading in intellectual assets,” he added.
The conference is jointly organized by WIPO, the African Union (AU) the Government of the Republic of Senegal and the Government of Japan under the Japan Funds-in-Trust for Africa and Least-Developed Countries (LDCs).