His Excellency the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi says Intellectual Property (IP) has become a crucial aspect to economic success. President Masisi said the evolving drivers of wealth have shifted the paradigm of wealth creation from natural resources to an economy of ideas, in which intellectual property is important.
He said this at the launch of the Botswana Intellectual Property Policy (BIPP) 2022 in Gaborone earlier today. Developed with the assistance of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the primary objective of the BIPP 2022 is to leverage Botswana’s IP potential to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development.
President Masisi said the launch of this policy constitutes a major milestone as it is the first National Intellectual Policy to be developed for Botswana. He added that as part of the implementation of this policy, the entrepreneurial activities of youth, women, people with disabilities and minority groups will be considered. This he said talks to issues of inclusivity.
Over the years, Botswana has been striving to improve its intellectual property landscape by enacting laws such as the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act 2006 and the Industrial Property Act 2010. Judges and Magistrates have also been trained to deal with IP matters brought before them.
The Minister of Trade and industry Mmusi Kgafela added that the successful implementation of the policy will enable Botswana to use her IP potential towards being a Knowledge Based Economy and to diversify the country’s economy to create prosperity for all.
Minister Kgafela urged everyone to play their part for the policy to produce the intended results. He explained that the development of this policy started in 2017 through robust consultation with stakeholders. The policy was adopted by parliament during the 2nd Meeting of the 3rd session of the 12th Parliament in February 2022.