BY ARAMATA JATTA
Sanna Jawara a Copyright Officer of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) on Wednesday 21st October 2020 informed the National Assembly Select Committee on Trade and Regional Integration that the country is losing billions of dalasi due to the unavailability of trade marks.
Appearing before the committee, He said “as we are enforcing the intellectual property law in the country, trademarks are very important; the Gambia is the only country that doesn’t have an effective intellectual property regime as a result of that we are losing billions of dalasi”.
As a key stakeholder, Jawara was identified by the aforementioned committee to give an overview on the Banjul Protocol on Marks and advise the committee whether they should go ahead in ratifying the said document or not.
Jawara emphasized the need and importance of this document. He said “intellectual property is the future of Africa, there is no way we can develop as a nation without implementing our intellectual property rights”.
This intellectual property agreement was signed in Zimbabwe and was adopted in the administrative council of Banjul on November 19, 1993 and it has since being amended from November 28, 1997 to November 23, 2018.
African Regional Intellectual Organization (ARIPO) includes 15 member States of ECOWAS and it aims at promoting trade and investment.
Some time ago, during session the document was table before the law makers at plenary for ratification and it was committed to the Assembly’s Business Committee for Committal.
The business committee committed the document to the Select Committee on Trade for proper scrutiny and consideration after which they (Trade committee) will report back to plenary on its findings and recommendations before ratifying the document.
At this juncture it was agreed by the committee for Jawara to go through the document thoroughly and give his advice on the way forward.
Jawara on the other hand assured the committee that he will submit a written document on his views regarding the document before Friday.