SPEECH OF HON HEZEKIAH CHIBULUNJE (MP) DEPUTY MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY TRADE AND MARKETING AT THE OPENING OF THE HIGH LEVEL MEETING ON TOPICAL ISSUES ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ON THE 26TH MARCH, 2007 AT KILIMANJARO KEMPINSIKI Mr. Chairman, Representative of the Director General of WIPO, Mr. Lee Yuke Chin – Consultant, Permanent Secretaries, Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen. Mr. Chairman let me first of all take this opportunity to welcome you all to this one day Intellectual Property Advisory Services and Information Centre High Level National Meeting organized by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in collaboration with the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) and the National Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH). Intellectual Property is increasingly taking the centre stage in the global setting especially now when the global economic scenario is based on knowledge. What is exactly intellectual property and what role does it have if any in a social, economic and cultural global setting? does intellectual property have any significance in development strategies for countries like the United Republic of Tanzania, if yes what is its significance? It is precisely these questions and many others of similar nature, that this one day high level meeting on topical issue on intellectual property, would attempt to address and answer. It is a fact that not many Tanzanians, today know what intellectual property is all about much less of its significance to the social and economic development of a nation. Chairman, I have looked at your programme and the various presentations which I have noted will be delivered by some distinguished persons and intellectual property gurus both from within and from outside Tanzania. I note and wish to recognise the presence of Hon. Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki, a Member of Parliament for Bukoba urban. I am informed that Hon. Kagasheki was once an Assistant Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation. I also note and wish to recognize the presence amidst us of Mr. Kifle Shenkoru a Director of the LDCs Division of the World Intellectual Property Organsiation (WIPO) in Geneva. Last but not least I recognize the presence of Mr. Lee Yuke Chin, a Consultant from Malaysia, I am informed that Mr. Chin was one of architects of social and economic reforms that transformed a once least developed Malaysia, into a new Malaysia with a vision to become a developed nation by the year 2010. I quite remember that Mr. Shenkoru and Mr. Chin were here in December last year, at the University of Dar es Salaam where they were the resource persons to the skills development and training, for some users of Intellectual Property Advisory Services and Information Centre, which I am informed will be formally launched tomorrow at the COSTECH . The presence of these distinguished persons in the list of resource persons for this meeting, signifies the importance with which the organizers of this meeting are attaching to the whole issue of enhancing awareness on intellectual property in Tanzania. It is my hope that you will be able to share experiences during your discussions on the various issues relating to this subject and its relevance in fostering the social and economic growth in the country. Mr. Chairman, intellectual property I am informed, cuts across all sectors of the national economy and beyond, it is not an area that belongs to one specific ministry and or institution. Intellectual property as you will probably be told later today, has relevance in almost all Government Ministries and in many other institutions public as well as private. Intellectual property relates to development of technology, promotion of trade in goods and services, consumer protection, fair trade, entertainment industry, development of literary and artistic works, public health and access to medicines, new plants varieties, biotechnology, genetic engineering, mechanical and civil engineering and many other areas. For a nation to benefit fully from the contribution of intellectual property, it is necessary to have a holistic approach, which among other things, provides for the integration of intellectual property into the social, economic and cultural development policies of the nation in question. This happened, and is in fact happening in practice elsewhere and since you will have an opportunity to share the experience of Malaysia with Mr. Chin you could clearly see how carefully integrated intellectual property into national development policies could have very positive results. You are all aware I believe, of countries like India, China, South Korea and many others in Asia, which embraced intellectual property in their economic policies, their economies have dramatically changed beyond imaginable proportions. There are many lessons that our country could learn from these countries. While Tanzania is struggling to foster its economic growth and poverty alleviation and also aspiring to strategize on how to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, it would in my view be very interesting to discuss how intellectual property could contribute to those endeavours. So I urge you to seriously consider during your discussion and deliberate on how best the United Republic of Tanzania could apply intellectual property in achieving the social and economic reforms, which aim at creating employment opportunities and raising the standard of living of all Tanzanians. It is my hope that at the end of this meeting, as most of you are at the level of policy making, you could come out with recommendations that would assist the application of intellectual property in industry, agriculture, communication, education, culture, health, trade and all other sectors. I am informed that BRELA, COSTECH, COSOTA, the Ministry of Higher Education and other stakeholders, formed an Intellectual Property Forum with a view to bringing together intellectual property stakeholders and have a common place at which to discuss the various intellectual property issues. The forum I am informed has been legally established as a non profit making and non governmental organization. It has an open ended membership for any person natural or otherwise, who has an interest and or stake in intellectual property. May I take this opportunity to urge all of you to join the forum which does not require any membership subscription fees at least until now. In conclusion Mr. Chairman, let me thank the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) for accepting to organize this important meeting to enhance the awareness on intellectual property. It is my sincere hope that the Director General’s representative, will kindly pass my profound gratitude to him in Geneva. Having said that, it is now my singular honour to declare this Intellectual Property Advisory and Information Centre High Level Meeting officially opened, and I wish you fruitful deliberations. I thank you for your attention.
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