Chamber President Mr. Richard Ngatia accompanied by Chamber CEO Mr. Samuel Matonda hosted the inaugural Intellectual Property (IP) Sectoral Committee. Establishment of the IP Committee stems from the need to enhance IP policy environment in Kenya and stimulate fair IP-related trade both at the national and cross-border level.

The Committee comprises of the following members:

1.Ms. Angela Ndambuki – Regional Director Sub-Saharan Africa at IFPI, and Committee Chair

2.Mr. Jack Ngare – Managing Director, Africa Development Centre at Microsoft

3.Mr.Fred Murimi – Managing Director at Centum (Longhorn)

4.Ms. Phyllis Wakiaga – CEO, Kenya Association of Manufacturing, KAM

5.Ms.Eva Kagondu – Legal Counsel, East African Breweries Ltd (Diageo Group)

6.Ms. Sally Mashiane – Colgate Palmolive

KNCCI IP Sectoral Committee is tasked with providing strategic guidance to Chamber’s IP agenda in the trade sector and consequently influence positive policy change for the private sector.

Following the discussions were flagged as key areas for IP development:

  1. Need to create awareness on IP rights, notably trademarks, patents, trade secrets and copyrights, among businesses especially start-ups and SMEs with novel ideas
  2. Lobby government to create enabling policy and legislation for protection of IP rights especially in the digital and creative industry. (Follow up on the proposed Intellectual Property Bill 2020)
  3. Consumer Protection against dumping and unfair trade practices
  4. Need to reduce the cost of acquisition of patents, copyrights and trademarks to increase accessibility to ownership and transfer, also to reduce piracy
  5. Need to harmonize IP registration across the EAC and the continent as current territorial restrictions limit trade agreements to jurisdiction
  6. Need to work closely with judiciary to fast-track dispute resolution of IP matters
  7. Protection of SMEs creating products from cultural expressions from unauthorized appropriation and theft of traditional knowledge without due reward

– The AfCFTA envisions harmonization of IP rights to promote E-commerce, and has in place a Protocol on IP Rights currently at phase II of negotiation.

The Committee seeks to consult WIPO and other Business Associations to develop a plan for the celebration of World Intellectual Property Day on 26th April.