WINDHOEK, Feb. 20 – “Like the wind blows everywhere, and so does the wind of Science and Technology.” These were the words Doctor Elangi Botoy Ituku, Industrial Property Information Officer at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) emphasised during the opening ceremony of the first ever workshop on the Establishment of Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCS) in Namibia.
The workshop has been organised by WIPO in cooperation with the Government of Namibia and the assistance of the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA.)
In September 2007 at its General Assembly, WIPO adopted a Development Agenda, and that laid the foundations to its Program on the Establishment of Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC Program) in Developed Countries and Least Developed Countries.
Dr. Ituku said that the purpose of the TISC Program is to enable beneficiary countries to reduce the technical and scientific knowledge gaps which exist between them and industrialised countries.
“In this regard, through the TISC Program, DCs (Developed Countries) and LDCs (Least Developed Countries), particularly Namibia, will have access to technologies and scientific publications which have helped Europe, North America, Asia, and now many other countries such as China, India, Brazil, Argentina, develop their economies,” he said.
The WIPO representative added that progress in the field of science and technology has greatly enabled industrialised countries to improve living conditions of their populations. The effective use of this information has the possibility to allow the least developed countries to gradually experience the same outcome as their developed countries.
Over 90 million technologies and more than 70 000 scientific publications are stored in specialised databases within the TISC Program’s framework. With regards to Namibia, the Program has the potential to foster the country’s scientific and technical base and lay foundations to mastering any kind of scientific and technical fields.
Ituku cited improving production, conservation and distribution of food products, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals as an example of possible outcomes. He added that Namibia could be in a position to develop agriculture, exploit natural resources, improve building methods to ensure quality and durability of all kinds of infrastructure as other key benefits. In addition, he stated the potential to improve all aspects of environmental health and industrial hygiene.
He continued, “… To develop medicine, in particular, treatment methods of endemic diseases; to develop manufacturing chemical and biotechnological products; to develop a textile industry, automobile and even to build airplanes; all technical formulas are described in detail in those 90 million documents.”
More than 15 000 articles and 22 000 electronic books complement the technical formulas and together provide an abundant well of resources that can be exploited for the benefit of Namibia.
The three-day workshop will conclude on Thursday 22 February, and has gathered experts from Kenya, South Africa, delegates from various Namibian Ministries, as well as aspiring Namibian innovators. – Musa Zimunya