Desmond Oriakhogba

On 25 April 2022, a day before World IP Day, the University of Venda celebrated World IP Day in advance.

In his welcome address, Prof Modimowabarwa Kanyane, Dean of the Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law, of the University of Venda, South Africa (UNIVEN), noted that the four pillars of UNIVEN’s strategic objectives (students’ centeredness and engaged scholarship, entrepreneurial university, governance for outstanding scholarship, and linkages, partnerships and internationalisation) resonate with theme of the World Intellectual Property Day (WIPD) 2022.

According to him,“the topic […] is not only relevant, but is also topical to grapple with crucial issues through the engaged scholarship lens of [UNIVEN]. Africa is known for its exploit and exploitation of resources, and among those in the area of IP is music, filming, printing and publishing. They are the soft targets. The legal infrastructure on IP should stop the imperial and colonial tendencies that keep on raising their heads. Therefore, there is a need for transparent and fair process that the ownership and distribution of royalties to creators of these knowledge on the continent, but, more importantly, the access to these innovation and creation.”

Prof Kanyane made the remarks while opening this year’s WIPD Webinar organised by UNIVEN’s Department of Mercantile and Private Law in conjunction with the SARChI Research Chair on IP, Innovation and Development at the University of Cape Town (UCT SARChI Chair). The theme of the WIPD 2022 was “IP and Youth: Innovation for a Better Future”. The Webinar, which was titled “Empowering Youths in Africa’s Creative Industry: The Role of Collective Management Organisations”, also afforded an opportunity to launch an important book titled Copyright, Collective Management Organisations and Competition in Africa: Regulatory Perspectives from Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya (Juta, 2021) authored by UNIVEN School of Law Senior Lecturer, Dr Desmond Oriakhogba, with part funding support from the SARChI Chair.

The Webinar attracted guests and speakers from across Africa and Europe. It was held virtually on MSTeams and was streamed live on Youtube. Dr Edward Kwakwa (World IP Organization [WIPO], Switzerland) delivered the Keynote address, which was followed by presentations from Dr Chijioke Okorie (Nigeria and South Africa), Dr Joel Baloyi (South Africa), and Dr Marisella Ouma (Kenya) on different topics linked to the title of the Webinar and the overall theme of the WIPD. The event, was opened with very powerful remarks from Prof Modimowabarwa Kanyane and Prof Caroline Ncube (UCT SARChI Chair). This was followed by a concept note,  delivered by the Director of UNIVEN’s School of Law – Prof Lonias Ndlovu. Adv Gideon Joubert, acting Head of UNIVEN’s Mercantile and Private Law Department summed up the deliberations of the day in his closing remarks and vote of thanks.

Dr Omowamiwa Kolawole, Postdoc fellow, UCT SARChI Chair and co-facilitator/moderator of the event, aptly summarised reflections at the Webinar here. The complete recording of the Webinar is available here.