MAASAI MARKET-ROUNDTABLE FORUM: DEVELOPMENT OF AN INDIGENOUS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LEGISLATION IN KENYA

Regesha Kiondo, Regesha Kikoi, Regesha Hazina!

Maasai Market Empowerment Trust is an umbrella organization which was founded to confront the challenges facing the curio craft industry in Kenya. Intellectual property rights have been identified as a key challenge. This has led to the formulation of the Regesha Kiondo Regesha Kikoi campaign to lobby for the recognition of the two products as authentically Kenyan creations and sensitize the public on importance of indigenous intellectual property and specifically on issue of traditional knowledge. It’s in this light that we have the pleasure to invite you to sit in our round table forum to be held at the Goethe- Institut, on November 28th beginning from 3.30pm to 6.00pm.

The urgency for the development of Indigenous Intellectual Property Legislation in Kenya has been intensified in light of what has been happening on the global scene where some international companies have moved in to patent products which have deep roots in Kenya, such as the kiondo and the kikoi. These two products have been key earners for women groups in Ukambani and the Coast which are some of the most marginalized communities in the country and their reproduction has already had a huge impact on the market due to reduced sales. This will in no doubt lead to increased poverty in those regions reversing our effort toward reaching the Millennium Development Goals. It’s further feared that if due to the weak nature of the intellectual property law which in Kenya is found in the industrial property act which does not encompass traditional knowledge, folklore and sources, more products with deep roots in Kenya will be lost. The problem is further aggravated by fact the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS ) did not recognize African indigenous products. It’s this challenge that the program seeks to tackle by lobbying for the development of an indigenous intellectual property law in Kenya.

The theme of the forum will be:

Towards an Indigenous Intellectual Property Legislation in Kenya

Please feel free to contact us for further discussion.

ISSUES TO BE DISCUSSED

The state of intellectual property laws in Kenya

Are they able to protect Indigenous property?

Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

Is it effective in protecting indigenous property in Africa?

Comparisons of the Panama Indigenous Intellectual Property Act and the Kenya Industrial Property Act

What can Kenya learn from Panama?

Why Kenya needs an Indigenous Intellectual Property Act

The Program officer, Murage Kamore can be reached on maasaimarket@gmail.com or 0722-936296

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