Nigeria government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UK-based Developing Africa Group to create Africa’s first intellectual property rights (IPR) commercialisation project.
Ibrahim Haruna, head of press and public relations of the ministry of industry, trade and investment made this known.
The minister, Adeniyi Adebayo, was quoted as saying the project would allow the group to use IPR as a means of resolving some of the issues and challenges facing the country.
According to him: “This is to address some of the issues surrounding unemployment and allow rural communities in Nigeria to start attracting commercial interests,”
“Since trademarks are crucial to the promotion of trade and economic development, and Nigeria happens to be one of the strong regional hubs of trade in Africa being the continent’s biggest economy.
“It is no surprise that it has attracted the world’s IP governing body in Abuja, as Nigeria hosted one of the only two World Intellectual Property Office’s (WIPO) external offices in Africa.
“Africa in general and Nigeria in particular, faces an enormous challenge of industrialisation and unemployment generation given the significant population growth.
“The African Development Bank estimates that youth unemployment is twice as high as that of adults and that young people account for approximately 60 per cent of the continent’s jobless population.
“The problem is only set to become more acute given estimates that some 12 million young people on the continent enter the job market each year.”