- This includes supporting and investing in women-led businesses, promoting gender-sensitive IP policies, and providing access to training and resources to enable women to effectively leverage their IP rights.
- This was the rallying call during an exchange forum hosted by the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) to commemorate the World Intellectual Property Day 2023.
Stakeholders in the intellectual property (IP) sector have urged unity in empowering women to fully participate in the innovation ecosystem.
This includes supporting and investing in women-led businesses, promoting gender-sensitive IP policies, and providing access to training and resources to enable women to effectively leverage their IP rights.
This was the rallying call during an exchange forum hosted by the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) to commemorate the World Intellectual Property Day 2023.
The forum brought together women in the cultural and creative industries, intellectual property lawyers and practitioners, commercial players in the intellectual property rights market, relevant state and industry organizations, and other key stakeholders.
Under the theme Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity, the forum created space to celebrate the “can do” attitude of women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs and their ground-breaking work.
An all-women panel discussion featured panelists Neomi Ng’ang’a, Waithera (Ythera) Chege, Maggie Otieno, Wambui Kairo, Liz Lenjo, June Gachui, and Muthoni Garland.
The discussion focused on the availability and accessibility of information on IP for creatives in the sectors of the creative economy in which they are key players.
Speaking in a video message during the forum, Hon Ababu Namwamba, Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, the Arts and Sports, emphasized the importance of empowering women in the innovation ecosystem.
“In this digital era, intellectual property is a currency – is as much a currency as hard cash or that card in your wallet and therefore, like any currency, it must be protected,” he said.
“There are many barriers that exist for creatives and women entrepreneurs in particular. One of the barriers we have noticed in our engagement with artists over the years, is information. This is why, we have been working with GIZ for the past year to bring information on key copyright issues to creatives,” said Edward Sigei, Executive Director of KECOBO.
The forum was made possible through support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Kenya, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
On his part, Bernd Lakemeier, Programme Director Sustainable Economic Development, Employment, and Digitalisation at GIZ Kenya, lauded the initiative, noting:
“The forum provided an opportunity to amplify the voices of women in the creative economy and encourage their full participation in the innovation ecosystem. Similar discussions are important in enabling the inclusion of women's perspectives and experiences, which can lead to better policy and decision-making. Germany remains committed to supporting the intellectual property rights of creatives, both in Kenya and globally.”
The cooperation between KECOBO and the German Development Cooperation is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH through the Global Project Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI).
It aims to enhance access to high-quality and easily understandable information on intellectual property and copyright for Kenyan creatives.
“Through our partnership with GIZ, we are producing 10 instructional and informational videos on key IP topics. These videos will be published via KECOBO’s online channels to improve access to information for creatives on how they can secure their rights and make a living through their art,” said Sharon Wata, Deputy Director of Training and Research at KECOBO.
The creative economy is recognized as a key driver of economic growth and development in the Vision 2030 strategy.
As such protecting intellectual property is essential for the growth of this sector and is crucial in fostering innovation, creating jobs, and generating economic opportunities.