By Beaven Dhliwayo.
Harare, Zimbabwe. (News of The South) – The Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) partnered with the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe to create intellectual property awareness, to children in schools to spread the gospel of the importance of innovation and creativity and the protection of the same.
The event which took place on World Intellectual Property Day was marked by an exhibition entitled, “Striking Idea, Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity”
The exhibition was a culmination of a competition staged by ARIPO, with five schools from all over Zimbabwe participating.
The schools are namely, Friendship High School, Kundai High School, Hatcliffe 2 Primary, Dandamera Primary and Amanda’s Junior School.
The exhibition was segmented into three categories, the 4-7 years olds, 8-11 years olds and 12-16 year olds.
The competition was seen as a way of harnessing children natural competitive drive by instilling a sense of invention, design and openness to collaboration.
The underlying factor of the competition being a value additive knowledge to students that ideas must be trademarked, copyrighted or patented as they are derived from individual intellect, that is, must belong to a person as a unique idea which has never been thought of.
The ideas generated by students were impressive, from vehicles to wearable technology and the competition was easily interpretable to the participants as it was linked to the National Curriculum.
In his opening remarks, ARIPO Director General, Fernando Dos Santos stated that the main objective of the competition was to create intellectual property awareness, and this was done to schools that may have no access to information.
Dos Santos further stated that children are capable of changing and developing an Intellectual Property Mentality globally, as their minds are open to new ideas.
“You would agree with me that once a child is taught a concept it will automatically spread to the immediate family and in a short time the whole surrounding of the child will be sensitized on the aspect.
“That is the aim ARIPO is making of taking Intellectual Property (IP) back to the roots through sensitizing of children by supporting such initiatives done by the NGZ.
“Our children are capable of changing and developing an IP mentality globally. Take for instance, the worldly known, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg a 33 year old, young American computer programmer, Internet entrepreneur and co-founder of Facebook has facilitated for greater connectedness and mass mobilization towards social and economic justice,” he said.
NGZ Executive Director, Doreen Sibanda was agreeable in these statements as in her remarks she pointed that IP practice was crucial to the development of the creative industry’s practice.
“Creativity itself is something which has often been taken for granted in the past, but as time progressed, the need to trade mark, copyright and patent creative works has become a crucial component of creative practice and art,” she said adding that the linking of the Striking Ideas competition to the education curriculum is of outmost importance as the learning experience in our schools has to be dovetailed with everyday life.
Prizes were distributed after the ceremony and there are plans to renew the competition in the coming years, on a more expansive level.
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