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State to unveil policy for informal sector benefit from innovative ideas

By Dominic Omondi | Updated Sat, April 29th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
Principal Secretary for Investment and Industry, Patrick Nduati Mwangi.(Photo: Courtesy)

Kenya is putting together a strategy aimed at uplifting the informal sector through the use of latest technology. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives revealed they will soon unveil the National Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy that will aid the informal sector players to benefit from their innovative ideas.

“We need to exploit the full potential of our people in the informal sector by linking the sector and the economy at large with research and development, scientific and technological innovation and entrepreneurship to generate the growth momentum to create quality employment and wealth for our people,” said Principal Secretary for Investment and Industry, Patrick Nduati Mwangi.

Mr Mwangi was speaking during the opening of the 2017 World Intellectual Property held in Nairobi on Thursday. Intellectual property rights include patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright.

He explained that the policy will ensure that the commercial results of any intellectual property, in form of financial or other benefits, are distributed in a fair and equitable manner that recognises the contributions of inventors, the involved institutions and other stakeholders.

“It will also ensure that both the intellectual property and other products of research are made available to the public through an efficient and timely process of technology transfer,” he said adding that this would go a long way promoting, preserving and aiding creativity among Kenyans.

The PS regretted that 89 per cent of the total jobs (7.4 million jobs) as at 2016, according to the Economic Survey 2017, were in the informal sector, with the modern sector having only 856,000.

“This is largely a factor of deploying outdated technology and not making any efforts to exploit indigenous technology in the face of a weak knowledge protection environment,” explained Mwangi.

He also noted that the Government is implementing Kenya’s Industrial Transformation Programme, “a medium term blueprint to drive the Industrialisation Agenda for the next 10 years.” This program is expected to address the over 4 million unemployed and half of the 1 million graduates entering the job market annually, said the PS.