Malawi Government says it is committed to protecting intellectual property so that the country should move away from agriculture based economy to a knowledge based one, since innovation is the basis of industrialisation and trade.
Minister of Industry and Trade Sosten Gwengwe said this in Mzuzu on Friday during the World Intellectual Property Day commemoration held under the theme ‘Creativity: The Next Generation.’
Gwengwe said artists and innovators need to develop their ideas and artistic works freely with full protection from piracy and counterfeit if the country is to develop.
“Government will partner with stakeholders to champion this cause even if it means coming up with programmes in universities to fight piracy and counterfeit,” he said.
He, therefore, applauded Mzuzu University (Mzuni) for hosting the event, saying “this is where Intellectual Property needs to be imbedded because we look up to institutions of higher learning for solutions to problems.”
Highlighting the experience artists have gone through due to piracy, musician Soldier Lucius Banda described piracy as a “tragedy” to musicians.
“The more technology is advancing, the more we are being defeated,” he said.
Other speakers representing Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma), the Registrar General and Mzuni, highlighted the need of developing the arts economically as a way of fighting piracy.
“Ministry of Finance need to allocate adequate resources to the development of the arts because these contribute a lot to the growth of the country,” said Dora Makwinja, Cosoma acting director.