14th Cohort of the Masters in Intellectual Property Launched
On the 10th of February 2022, the 14th Cohort of the Masters in Intellectual Property (MIP) programme was officially launched virtually by Africa University and its programme partners, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and the Government of Japan. The 14th Cohort draws 37 students from 17 African countries namely Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The MIP programme that started in 2008 has grown to become one of Africa University’s flagship programmes from which outstanding alumni have gone on to make a name for themselves and their countries in the IP field. Among the dignitaries who graced the occasion was the Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe His Excellency Satoshi Tanaka, Counsellor Martha Chikowore of the WIPO and Mr John Kebare, Intellectual Property Operations Executive, ARIPO. Keynote speaker and Guest of Honour was prominent Africa University academic Dr. Elton Mugomeri who is the Head of the university’s School of Public Health and Nursing.
Partners WIPO, ARIPO and the Government of Japan provide substantial support to the programme through the funding of resource persons, the provision of scholarships and through offering practical trainings. WIPO and the Government of Japan are sponsoring 22 students in the current cohort with ARIPO sponsoring 5.
In his welcoming remarks, Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Rev. Professor Peter Mageto said,
“Each year we celebrate this event as a milestone in our relationship with ARIPO and WIPO. This is a relationship that we don’t take for granted. Intellectual Property has become a buzz word in this fourth industrial revolution, and the role of this MIP programme cannot be overemphasised. At a local level and over the years, Africa University has had tangible outputs from the programme. Some notable achievements include the publishing of the Intellectual Property Law: Practice and Management textbook in 2018, as well as the Africa Journal in Intellectual Property, an internationally accredited journal published biannually.”
His Excellency Ambassador Satoshi Tanaka offered words of encouragement to the students and to the partners, a continued commitment to the programme. He went on to emphasise the importance of IP in national development saying,
“The improvement of Intellectual Property systems is one of the key pillars for economic development protecting local IP rights and innovations and encouraging industrialisation. Japan’s economic growth over the past 100 years has been through leveraging IP. The Government of Japan continues to support Africa through various programmes in encouraging IP that will feed into the growth of African economies. To the 14th cohort, it is my hope that you will become leaders who will contribute to your national IP systems in the growth of your countries and the building of ties with the country of Japan.”
Mr John Kabare, Intellectual Property Operations Executive at ARIPO, applauded the determination to soldier on and despite the difficulties of the Pandemic and affirmed ARIPO’s commitment to the provision of scholarships to increase access to as many students as possible to the programme, availing resource persons, training and recognizing the academic achievement of each cohort through sponsoring graduation prizes to outstanding students.
IPO Counsellor Mrs Martha Chikowore lauded the potential and promise that exists within WIPO member states that can be a game changer in progressing the IP field globally and in Africa. She went on to mention that the WIPO has created an extensive IP knowledge database that features key journals, articles and texts that will be availed to the students and others in similar partner programmes across the world to bolster learning.
The Africa University Masters in Intellectual Property Programme is jointly offered by WIPO and ARIPO with funding from the Government of Japan.