Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, in charge of Trade Carlos Ahenkorah (MP), has indicated Government of Ghana’s commitment to making intellectual property a productive part of the business processes in the country to avoid counterfeiting, pirating and infringement of other intellectual property rights.
The deputy Minister said, counterfeiting and pirating of products is a big business and behind these activities are criminals who are intelligent, shrewd and cunning. This he said, is therefore imperative to step unintellectual property rights enforcement actions to stop the canker.
“Have you for a moment thought of the number of lives lost through the use of fake drugs? And accidents that have been caused due to the use of fake parts. Just imagine how much has been lost to the creative industry. Counterfeiting and piracy cut across individuals, peoples, interest groups and countries; in fact, the infringement of intellectual property rights is a serious issue and has adverse implications on public health and security of the country. You are all aware of the dwindling fortunes of our textiles industry which has resulted in massive job losses which is mainly due to a combination of factors; pirated textiles and unfair business practices,” Mr. Ahenkorah lamented.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the Ministry, Ebenezer Padi Adjrakar, at the National Intellectual Property Workshop on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy in Accra on June 25th, 2018, which was organized by MoTI and funded by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.
He noted that, one of the objectives of the project was “the enforcement of IP rights on imports and domestically manufactured products complements enforcement of technical standards and hence the need for this workshop.”
Under the SGIP, he said, sixty senior officers of the CID have received training in IP. And this workshop is also to build the capacity of some selected Operational Customs Officers on how to fight infringement of intellectual property rights while still ensuring that, the facilitation of trade is not hindered.
Another five Officers from the Ghana Immigration Service also took part in the training workshop, indicating an inter agency collaboration towards the fight against counterfeiting and piracy menace in the country.
Mr. Ahenkorah was optimistic that, by the end of the workshop, the Officers would be equipped with the various techniques and knowledge which would enable them to enforce IPR at the country’s entry points while they facilitate trade.
The resource persons for the training workshop were from the World Customs Organization (WCO).
Speaking to Sandra Wens, the Technical Expert at the World Customs Organization, She indicated that, WCO aims to be the Global Centre of Excellence for the development and delivery of effective, efficient, and modern Customs procedures.
She said an integral part of its is the provision and maintenance of high-quality, user-friendly tools developed using in-house expertise and made freely available to all of its member administrations.
According to her, the training was composed of two principal elements; the theoretical component focused on the training of Customs Officers on risk analysis techniques and acquainting them with current best practices, whilst the practical element aims to engage them in practical activities that stimulate their day-to-day working environment.
This She said, will ensure how to distinguish an authentic and fake products, as well as the methodology which operational units of Customs administrations employ to target high-risk consignments.