The seminar was designed to raise awareness among staff and students of academic institutions and contributors to innovation in The Gambia on intellectual property.
The event was held under the theme - 'Fostering Creativity and Innovation for Economic Growth and Development in Africa.'
Speaking at the event, Dr Muhammed Lamin Sanyang, Director of Research and Consultancy at UTG, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, said that in a low-income country like The Gambia, the role of research in an academic institution is significant for its sustainability and development, and it is imperative to have knowledge-driven growth-based on innovation to boost the country’s economy.
“The quest for knowledge advancement is the basic principle behind research. The quality of research work directly translates into the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, thereby benefiting the students, the society, and the country.” he said.
The University of The Gambia, he said, should serve as a role model in innovations like that and the research department should take the lead.
“For any University to contribute meaningfully to national development and provide practical solutions to real-social problems, it is important to elevate research and innovation to a position of high strategic importance within its core function, hence under my leadership, UTG would continue to prioritise research and innovation as crucial components.” he added.
Pierre Gomez, Minister of Higher Education Research and Technology (MoHERST), outlined the importance of intellectual property, saying his Ministry recognises the fact that innovation plays a fundamental role in building solid foundations to promote businesses and industries.
"And conscious of this, we are providing the policy environment that fosters innovation and to strengthen research and development capacities of developing countries to enable an economy based on human talent that generates higher value-added growth."
Ahmed Ibrahim, Senior Examiner ARIPO, acknowledged that The Gambia is the second African country to conduct this type of seminar, challenging participants to take the sessions seriously to make changes in economic growth.
Dawda A. Jallow, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, said the Ministry is on track in developing the IP laws that contradict international standards.
"There is already a bill which has been approved by the cabinet and ready to be tabled at the National Assembly."
The bill, he said, takes into account new trends in the file of intellectual property, adding that 'if this bill' is enacted it would significantly bring positive changes to the intellectual landscape in the country.