By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni revealed that it is important for the government to create an environment where creativity and innovation can thrive and that individuals or groups are protected and rewarded for their creativity.
President revealed this yesterday during the launch of the National Intellectual Property Policy and the Security Interest in Movable Property Registry (SIMPO) held under the theme “Creating unlimited possibilities for innovation and credit access,” at a ceremony held at State House, Entebbe.
“The improvement in the quality of human life and man’s transition from primitive existence to modernity are attributed to the discoveries in medicine, engineering, architecture etc. It is through the creations of the human mind that we have been able to tame nature throughout the four and a half million years of man’s existence on earth. Therefore, it is crucial that individuals or groups are rewarded for their innovations,” he said.
The President, however, emphasized that; we cannot talk about Intellectual Property Rights without addressing the issue of funding for scientists who are behind most of the innovations, which benefit all of us.
“Today, the whole world is waiting for scientists to develop a Coronavirus vaccine and cure. Ugandan scientists are also working day and night to come up with a vaccine and cure to this deadly disease. Without the work of scientists, the whole world is doomed. This explains why we should invest highly in the innovations of our scientists. They are our lifesavers when faced with natural calamities such as diseases, floods, drought, pests etc,” he said.
He commended the Uganda Registration Services Bureau for the policy which he described as a step in the right direction saying it will give innovators full protection of their patents.
“Musicians suffer a lot, that is why many are running into politics. The problem has been that these talented people compose a song but as soon as it is sung, it’s’ taken over by different groups including promoters. These musicians were not able to gain from their innovation,” he said.
On the Security Interest in Movable Property Registry System, the President said this will enable Ugandans to use their moveable assets as collateral to borrow money for their businesses from financial institutions.
“To most lenders, collateral means having land or a building; but if I have a thousand herd of cattle, each valued at 1 million Uganda shillings, why would you refuse to finance my investment? The Ministry of Finance should wake up the banking sector. For entrepreneurship, agriculture and industrialization to thrive in Uganda, the Government will continue to address the issue of high lending rates amongst financial providers.
The Registrar General, Twebaze Bemanya said the IP Policy will provide direction and interventions that will enable stakeholders to work towards creating, protecting and commercially exploiting innovations and creative works.