They met in Yaounde on Wednesday on the sidelines of OAPI's golden jubilee.
The importance of invention and innovation to sustainable socio-economic development in Africa has been reiterated and member countries of the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) urged to redouble efforts to protect them so as to attain desired growth.
Ministers of Industries and Culture of the OAPI member countries pledged to stand by this yesterday September 12 during the Ministerial Conference as part of activities marking 50 years of OAPI's existence. The conference held on the theme, "Intellectual property at the service of Africa's development."
Speaking on behalf of Cameroon's Minister of Mines, Industries and Technological Development, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jean Pierre Biyiti-bi Essam, said Cameroon, as host of OAPI's headquarters, has been doing much to harness invention and innovation to boost its growth. He noted that within the framework of the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper, government has a special focus on research and will not spare any effort to protect the patent rights of its innovators and inventors.
The Board Chairperson of OAPI, Hadja Rahamatoulaye Bah, the General Manager, Paulin Edou Edouand and other partners stressed on the need to encourage invention and innovation and at the same time encouraging the researchers to protect their works (with trade marks) against impostors who steal their creativity and feed fat on them.
The celebrations that began on Saturday September 8 with a sport walk rounds off today September 13 with an open-door day at the courtyard of the Yaounde Conference centre, sensitisation on the importance of intellectual property, presentation of a report of Ministerial Conference and a gala dinner at the Yaounde Hilton this evening.