Registrar General Speaks on Gambia’s Intellectual Property Rights, Others
By Musa Saho
Mr. Abdoulie Colley, the Registrar General, under the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Justice, has recently discussed and evaluated the implementation process of The Gambia Intellectual Property (IP), Policy, and Strategy Plan (2018-2023).
In an exclusive interview, the Registrar General, who is leading the implementation process of the IP Policy, said the policy is in its final year of implementation and the IP office was able to come up with a new Intellectual Property Bill, which is already gazette and will be tabled by the Honorable Attorney General and Minister of Justice soon.
In addition, Mr. Colley stated that among the key components of the IP Strategy, is to build the capacity of the national IP office staff and agents, in which he said, he is happy to report that the office has offered a series of capacity-building programs such as the best practices on trademark examination, training on Madrid International Registration System and ARIPO online registration system all geared toward enhancing the capacity of the sector.
He also stated that, with the support of his office, two technology innovation support centers have been established at the Gambia Technical Training Institution, Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the automation of the Intellectual Property has been upgraded to a more efficient system.
On the issue of joining relevant International Intellectual Property Treaties, he said, the cabinet has given approval for the National Intellectual Property Office to commence the process of joining five major Intellectual Copyright Treaties such as the WIPO Copyright Treaty, Beijing Treaty, Marrakesh Treaty on visually impaired and Kampala Protocol on voluntary registration of copyright and related rights.
According to him, his office has partnered with the University of the Gambia and has developed the University’s first Institutional IP policy, which is expected to be validated in the first quarter of this year.
Similarly, the Registrar General added that his office has established an outlet that assists investors in The Gambia to aid their understanding of the importance of IP and how to go about registering it.
In another discussion, the Registrar General said, he is proud to report that the mandate of the ARIPO Technical Committee on Industrial Property Rights has been extended and the Registrar General of the Gambia is elected to serve as the Chairperson of the committee for the next two years.
Registrar General went further to say, it’s important to note that the proper implementation of the strategy commenced in 2020 with the establishment of a National Intellectual Property Council, which comprised of all Intellectual Property stakeholders such as the National Centre for Arts and Culture, Judiciary of the Gambia, Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency, Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, the Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Gambia Technical Training Institute among others, chaired by the Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Colley, went further to reiterate the Ministry’s continued commitment to intensify the awareness creation on Intellectual and Industrial Property rights, in order for the people of The Gambia to maximize its use for economic benefits.
He concluded by saying that his office doors are open and will continue to offer advice to the public in regard to the intellectual property administration in the Gambia.