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AfricaMoney | August 20, 2017

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Mauritius PM on World IP Day: IP an asset for knowledge-based economy

Mauritius PM on World IP Day: IP an asset for knowledge-based economy

Mauritian Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth called IP an “economic asset for a knowledge-based economy”, at a workshop organised by the National Computer Board of Mauritius and the US Embassy on World Intellectual Property Day. (Image: shutterstock.com)

 Following global trends, Mauritius is moving towards a knowledge-based economy, making Intellectual Property (IP) not just a tool but rather an economic asset for the island economy.

Accordingly, Mauritian Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth stated, “IP is an economic asset for a knowledge-based economy.”

“Digital technology, Internet, Communication, Biotechnology as well as skilled people play a critical role in what is termed as the knowledge economy,” said the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation (TCI), Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.

A workshop was organised to facilitate a discussion on the digital economy, creativity versus piracy, copyright and the internet and enforcement of IP in the ‘cloud’ environment among other topics, which was addressed by Michael N. Schlesinger, a lecturer in law at the George Washington University School of Law, and Counsel to International Intellectual Property Alliance, US.

Pravind Jugnauth also highlighted that the workshop on Intellectual Property Rights in the digital economy was geared mainly towards sensitising policymakers, ICT Professionals and researchers on the ways that the growing digital economy is impinging on copyright.

The TCI Minister put emphasis on the protection of IP which is a vital component of innovation and scientific advancement and pointed out, “Many benefits of invention will be lost if the resulting IP is not protected whereby robust IP laws enable inventors to convert their innovations into commercial ventures”.

The rapid growth of the digital economy, enabled by broadband penetration, and coupled with increases in computing power and storage, creates global markets for content and rights holders but  it also creates a threat that, without adequate controls, can damage creative industries.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), aim at safeguarding innovation. With this in mind, Budget 2015 makes a provision of Rs 125 million towards the promotion of innovation, inventiveness and creativity through the ‘National Innovation Programme’.

All youngsters need to be motivated to have an innovative and inventive mindset, which can be achieved by offering STEM subjects at school, whereby STEM is a curriculum based on four disciplines, namely Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, through an inter-disciplinary approach resulting in enhancing skills for problem solving and critical thinking.

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