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Rwanda hosts workshop on intellectual property in relation to use of genetic resources
Kigali: The Rwanda Development Board in collaboration with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) is organizing a sub-regional workshop on intellectual property rights as they relate to access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge systems in ARIPO member states.
The theme of the workshop is entitled “Sub-Regional Workshop on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) arising for the Use of Genetic Resources”. The seminar is aimed at sharing expertise in this field and is focused on discussions regarding the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way; including the appropriate access to genetic resources and appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights. Rwanda became signatory of Nagoya Protocol with the objective of protecting the genetic resources and knowledge of the country.
The Registrar General Louise Kanyonga, in her opening remarks explained that this area of intellectual property is important and it increasingly apparent that it is necessary to regulate access to shared genetic resources and ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of their utilization. She added that “This workshop presents a great opportunity for us as member states to discuss issues of mutual interest within the region. No matter how much we do at national level, whether it be research or development, it is never enough. In a spirit of true cooperation, we in this region of the world must join in an action-oriented effort to solve the sometimes complex issues around the use of Genetic Resources.”
The key outcomes of the workshop include improved awareness on the Access and Benefit Sharing Mechanism for Genetic Resources from participating countries, understanding of the linkages of various access and benefit sharing mechanism at the national, regional and international level, input into the ARIPO draft policy framework on Access and Benefit and creating a s Strategy for participating in the forthcoming COP 11 in India, Hyderabad.
Participating countries at the two day workshop included Burundi, Kenya, Liberia, Sudan, Tanzania Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Notes to the editor
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It was adopted on 29th October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan. The Nagoya covers also traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources that are covered by the Convention on Biological Diversity and benefits arising from its utilization. One of the missions of The Office of Registrar General is to protect the genetic resources of the country and the traditional knowledge, while easing access and benefit sharing of genetic resources. Part of Rwanda Development Board, ORG was established in 2008 to continue the functions of the Rwanda Commercial Registration Agency. ORG is part of RDB with the objective to promote investment through registration services and systems, provide updated and quick information to improve the operation of businesses in Rwanda.
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