The objective of the SGIP II project is to strengthen the use of intellectual property rights in Ghana in order to contribute to higher competitiveness, more value added to Ghanaian prod-ucts, and a positive impact on Ghana’s economic development.
Cooperation between Ghana and Switzerland in the field of intellectual property rights (IPRs) started in early 2009 with the launch of the Swiss-Ghana Intellectual Property Project (SGIP I).
Comprehensive policy advice, mainly provided through a National IP Policy Committee, contributed significantly to an enabling legal framework on IPRs, including the revision of the main laws on IPRs.
The Government of Ghana, based upon the achievements of SGIP I, expressed a strong desire to benefit from further Swiss support to consolidate and to build upon the positive results. While Ghana’s legal and institutional framework in the field of IPRs is well developed, challenges remain. As in many other developing countries, institutional constraints continue to impede the effective enforcement of IPRs. Furthermore, right holders have not yet fully exploited the potential of these rights. Both of these challenges are in part the result of limited public awareness on IPRs. Promoting the use of those types of IPRs, which would allow Ghana to capitalize on its internal strengths, is of particular interest to the Government of Ghana.
Selected goals and objectives of high relevance to Ghana to be achieved by SGIP II include:
- An enabling IP environment is in place and improved services are provided to IP users.
- Research institutions and SMEs increasingly commercialize their IPRs.
- The protection and enforcement of IPRs is improved for the higher economic benefits of right holders and for safeguarding consumers against substandard goods.
- Legal protection and market access of high quality agricultural products and handicraft products are improved of traditional products, to the benefit of rural and artisanal communities.
Considering the relatively advanced stage of Ghana’s system of IPRs, this niche approach of the SGIP II project of “filling specific gaps” adds the most value and thus seems to be the best strategy to achieve sustainable results.
SGIP II provides the opportunity to consolidate, broaden and deepen results achieved by SGIP I. The continuation of support – with a shifted focus to the practical implementation of the newly established policy framework – will translate prior achievements into tangible, sustainable outcomes that directly benefit key stakeholders.
Within selected thematic areas, the activities mainly consist of technical capacity building through trainings, workshops, education programmes and expert input, to be led by national or international consultants. These activities increase the capacity of relevant IP-related organisations in delivering professional services. Furthermore, SGIP II envisages to support the pilot registration of selected GI products, which will be determined during the implementation of the project. The registration of these local specialty products as GIs is expected to increase the income of local producers.
A strong IPR protection becomes increasingly important for Ghana’s ability to attract investments in modern technologies, which are needed to improve the quality of and add value to local products. Ghana has a large capacity in establishing new brands, e.g., for the export of fruits, cacao beans, coffee, and shea butter. Higher competitiveness and more value added to these and other products are expected to result in a positive impact on the country’s socio-economic development. A strong and well-balanced IPR system encourages technology transfer, research and development, and the building of strong local brands, which are crucial to increase the international competitiveness of Ghanaian companies. Better protection and use of geographical indications, to market local specialties, benefit especially rural areas and enable Ghana to leverage its internal strengths and to enable a more balanced growth. The protection of geographical indications as well as the better enforcement of other forms of IPRs in Ghana would contribute to the safeguarding of the rich cultural tradition and heritage of the country.
The main beneficiaries of SGIP II are the Industrial Property Offices at the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), and the Copyright Office under the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s Department (MoJ). Both will benefit through direct technical capacity building. Additionally, local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and relevant associations benefit from tailor-made workshops and trainings, while other economic actors as well as the wider Ghanaian public benefit indirectly through improved services of the RGD, and the improved quality and competitiveness of Ghanaian products. The impact of SGIP II also extends to the more vulnerable segments of the Ghanaian population, such as rural communities, mainly through the use of geographical indications to market local specialties.
January 2016 – December 2019
Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs – SECO
Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property – IPI
Ministry of Trade and Industry – MoTI
Ministry of Justice – MoJ
Country Context Ghana
Population: 26 million
Area: 238,533 km2
Annual GDP growth: 4.0% (2014)
Annual income per capita: 4,100 USD (2014)
Olga Allemann / Georges Bauer – SGIP II Project Coordinators
Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property – IPI
olga.allemann | +41 31 377 72 12 / @ipi .chgeorges.bauer | +41 31 377 72 14 @ipi .ch
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