Celebrating Trailblazing Kenyan Women in Innovation and Creativity: World Intellectual Property Day 2018

The theme for this year’s World Intellectual Property (WIP) Day on 26 April is ‘Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity’. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), this year’s WIP Day campaign ‘celebrates the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in our world and shaping our common future.’ The UN specialised agency in charge of intellectual property (IP) urges its member states ‘to reflect on ways to ensure that increasing numbers of women and girls across the globe engage in innovation and creativity, and why this is so important.’ In Kenya, many observers note that women remain significantly underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) despite the country’s significant progress in achieving gender parity in education.

The above clip is a recent TV interview with three trailblazing Kenyan women professionals in STEM who candidly discuss some of the issues facing girls and women in STEM. Keeping with the theme of this year’s WIP Day, the national patent and trade mark office Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) has organised a full day IP Workshop on 25th April with the main event on 26 April to recognise and award some of the women in Kenya who have made a significant change through their innovations. Both KIPI events will be held at the Bomas of Kenya. Perhaps one of the highlights of KIPI’s planned event will be a procession from Langata Barracks to Bomas of Kenya with the Kenya Prisons Band and KIPI staff from 9.00 a.m on World IP Day.

Meanwhile on the other side of town, Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) is organising WIP Day celebrations of its own. Kudos to KECOBO for a colourful poster (see above). This blogger will be speaking at this event on a panel titled ‘Implementation of the Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Act, 2016’. The main session will be on ‘The Contribution of Women in IP and the Creative Sector’ bringing together some of Kenya’s leading women in academia, government, civil society as well as practitioners. The copyright office also intends to use this event to launch its new corporate logo and strategic plan.

Finally, in the evening of WIP Day, June Gachui Intellectual Property (JGIP) Consultants has organised a special event that is a culmination of its month-long celebration (check out the #JGIPHonours hashtag on twitter) of Kenyan women in creativity and innovation.
Happy World IP Day from the entire CIPIT team!

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