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Swakop hosts Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources meeting

Swakop hosts Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources meeting

By Adolf Kaure.

The Executive Director in the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, Sikongo Haihambo said that Africa needs to be recognised for the immense potential to excel its economies through the wealth of genetic resources.

Haihambo said this at the cross-regional 3-day meeting on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge Associated with Genetic Resources which started in Swakopmund earlier this week.

“For centuries, many communities have co-existed with and deeply understood the properties of these resources.” “Their traditional knowledge systems hold invaluable insights into the medicinal properties of plants, sustainable agricultural practices, and the complex web of life that sustains our ecosystems,” said Haihambo, when he spoke on behalf of the Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Hon. Lucia Iipumbu.

The meeting, attended by over 50 global delegates, was jointly organised by BIPA (Business and Intellectual Property Authority) and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).

According to Haihambo, the current global framework for intellectual property often fails to recognize the contributions of indigenous communities. “As we stand at the brink of the crossing line, we commend those who invested the time, the intellect, experience, knowledge, efforts, indeed their lives into this process.”

“As we embark on the crucial task of planning for the diplomatic conference on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources, and Traditional Knowledge associated with Genetic Resources, I believe each coordinating regional cluster has a powerful voice to contribute,” he said.

Also speaking at the conference, BIPA’s Chief Executive, Vivienne Katjiuongua said that Namibia has been very proactive in the development of legal and policy frameworks to protect traditional knowledge and genetic resources.

“These include the Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) framework to ensure equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge,” said Katjiuongua.


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