World Intellectual Property Day (World IP Day) is observed annually on April 26 in order to raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on our daily lives. World IP Day celebrates creativity and contributions made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe.
This year’s World Intellectual Property Day celebration with the theme –Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity celebrates the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in our world and shaping our common future.
Nigeria was not left out as we celebrated World IP Day at Ifash Hall, PTI Conference Complex, Warri, Delta State Nigeria.
It was amazing and fanfare to see over 400 creators, inventors and entrepreneurs, as well as policymakers and intellectual property lawyers participate in this year celebration in Nigeria.
The celebration was organized by a non-governmental organization known as the Friends of the Creator Foundation, in partnership with the faculty of Engineering and Delta State University, Oleh Campus.
The event started by 11:50 am anchored by Mr. Harrison Ocholor, the Master of Ceremony. Present at this year’s edition are notable figures shaking the IP system which includes Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo (Co-founder/Chairman Board of Trustess of Friends of Creator Foundation, Mrs Peace Majovo Odioko (Executive Director of FCF), Alhaji Adedayo Thomas (Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board), Prof. Emmanuel Ubeku (Dean, Faculty of Engineering Delsu, Oleh Campus, Senator Iyere Ihenyen (Lead Partner, Infusion Lawyers), Mrs. Florence, Okiemute Ighorodje, Veno Marioghae, Isoken Ibie, Prof Chris Okalor , Isoko Development Union, Students of DELSU, OAU and UNIBEN amongst others.
The program proceeded with the Nigerian National Anthem anchored by Okiemute Ighorodje, Season 9 winner of project fame, West Africa.
Welcome address by the Chairman Board of Trustees (FCF), Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo titled “Which kain thin be Intelletua Propati or what is intellectual property”. His speech bothered on deep and concrete explanation of what intellectual property is all about and the necessity of having innovation and creativity in Nigeria.
“the primary justification of intellectual property laws and regulation is that no one should be denied the fruits of his or her labour through authorized appropriation”, he said.
He added that women are influencers and innovators and often time are not recognized despite their prevalence in the entertainment industry.
“We are gathered here today to honour seven Nigerian women who have distinguished themselves as creators and innovators in their respective artistic and inventive labours, and a young woman who is the best female student of the faculty of Engineering, Delta State University”. – Dr Ogaga said
He ended his remark by thanking all attendees and applauded their steadfastness to celebrating innovation and creativity in Nigeria.
The Department of Theatre Arts from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) performed the Poem – ALGIERS, APRIL 2000 written by Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo. There were also other performances by College of Education, Warri and students from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), amongst others.
These presentations were followed by a lecture by Senator Iyere Ihenyen (Lead Partner, Infusion Lawyers) on the “Masculinity of Intellectual Property, Femininity and the Malnourished Baby”. According to him, gender disparity remains a constant bane and challenge in the world and this calls for necessary attention.
Senator Ihenyen stated that in the world of innovation, far fewer women use the patent system than men. In 2016, women appeared in less than a third of all international patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), according to WIPO. And at current rates, gender parity in the use of the System will only be reached in 2076. That’s 60 years from now!
He further itemized three things that affect innovation and creativity;
- Exclusion of traditional cultural system
- Exclusion of crafts and creative activities
- Exclusion of traditional knowledge.
Speaking on the contribution of Africa in innovation and creativity, especially from the women folk, he challenged women to stand tall and bridge the gap to ensure that the gender parity in the use of the system is ascertained even before 2076 as predicted.
“Africa has an underwhelming record in creating and protecting IP. In 2013 not one African nation appeared among the top 20 countries filing international patent applications using WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty amounting to only 0.05% involvement” – Senator Iyere Ihenyen. This was supported and reemphasized by Mr. Harrison Ocholor
He ended by proffering ways to allow balance in the IP system from the female folks which is to bridge disparity through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), balance between family life and work, Support to the female folks to take advantage of the IP system.
Seven remarkable women were honoured as part of this event:
- Joke Silva (Jacobs) – One half of Nigeria’s famous actor couple, who has endeared herself to stage theatre and movie lovers before and during the Nollywood revolution.
- Veno Marioghae – for her contribution to the Nigerian music industry, her rousing and optimistic song “Nigeria Go Survive” over two decades ago has acquired the status of an anthem and still as resonant today.
- Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye – Professor and newly appointed, Director – General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for her innovative contribution to pediatric healthcare through her invention and ownership of registered treatment patents.
- Kafayat Shafau – Ameh – Popularly known as Kaffy, for the creativity she brings to choreography and popularizing dance as an artistic form.
- Happiness Egobundu Akaniro – for her work as writer and publisher.
- Okiemute Ighorodje – for her creativity that distinguished her during season 9 of MTN’s hunt initiative, Project Fame West Africa.
- Isoken Ibie – Currently based in Canada, for her creativity as an actor (gender – Neutral term), film producer, and talk show host.
The best female student of the Faculty of Engineering, DELSU, also received recognition.
The Director General of National Film and Video Censors Board, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas in his goodwill message appreciated the participants and advised women not to relent to showcase the best in them. He said men should support women in every way they can.
The Executive Director/Chairman Planning Committee of the event, Mrs Peace Majovo Odioko, in her closing remarks thanked all the participant, planning committee and guests for making the event remarkable.
NLIPW News Reporter, Nathaniel Adebayo, who was present at the event spoke with some of the participants who express their overwhelming happiness on how the event was organized and stressed the fact that they learned something new about IP from the day.
We appreciate FCF for the great step of organizing this landmark event in Nigeria. Together we can all continue to revolve the IP system, and encourage and celebrate women in creativity and innovation.