Deputy Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Verna Sinimbo has called on business owners to educate themselves on the benefits of intellectual property rights for themselves and the country.She made the remarks on Friday during the commemoration of …
Deputy Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Verna Sinimbo has called on business owners to educate themselves on the benefits of intellectual property rights for themselves and the country.
She made the remarks on Friday during the commemoration of World Intellectual Property Day under the theme ‘Intellectual Property and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) - Taking your idea to the market’.
Sinimbo also noted that although Namibians are now more aware of their rights as it pertains to intellectual property there is still more public education required.
“We cannot continue to remain fragile to infringement of our ideas while others have theirs protected. Instead of just operating and existing as businesses we need to challenge, drive, build, react and develop solutions to challenges. It is time that we become competitive to compete at the world stage,” she added.
Sinimbo also highlighted that Government has put in place various legal frameworks, programmes and projects that will allow SMEs to benefit from their effort and the contributions of others.
“The growth at home strategy is one such programme that emphasises industrialisation, manufacturing and value addition. It aims to develop value chains that are based on raw materials available in Namibia,” she said, adding that her ministry also introduced the industry protection programme in some sectors based on the viability of ensuring growth of certain industries.
She, however, cautioned that strategies and programmes put in place will not achieve their optimal objectives if individuals they are aimed for do not ensure that their ideas and products are adequately protected through intellectual property.
“Apart from human creativity and passion, intellectual property has been one of the most powerful forces fostering innovation, allowing knowledge to be created and distributed at an unprecedented scale. Namibia has been hailed by intellectual property experts for having of the best intellectual property laws in Africa. However, this means that laws that provide protection for individuals and businesses must be utilised,” she stated.
On her part, Business and Intellectual Property Authority Chief Executive Officer, Vivienne Katjiuongua urged SMEs to develop products for a competitive market by ensuring that their products are well marketed and consistently available.
“It is very important to remember that you are competing and that you have a market that you are supposed to service. Therefore, you must really strive to stand out in how you market your product, the presentation or description of your product because it is the only way that would make people want to buy from you,” she said.
Source: Namibia Press Agency